Parksville street upgrade returns after delay

Corfield construction scheduled around sales season

The on-again, off-again Corfield Street improvement project is back on and expected to be wrapped up in the summer of 2018.

At its Nov. 6 meeting, Parksville Council authorized a $2.6 million construction contract to Locar Industries Ltd. and set a tentative start time for construction to begin in three weeks.

“Before that there will be a kickoff meeting with the contractor for scheduling and constraints,” director of engineering Vaughn Figueira told council. “We’re going to try to avoid (construction) in July and August next year; that’s one of the reasons we delayed this time.”

The project, which includes upgrades to Corfield Street between Highway 19A and Stanford Ave. and a paved greenway trail between Corfield and McVickers Street, was initially approved by council in March of 2016.

Following design development, the project was scheduled to go to tender in March of 2017. But owners of businesses in Corfield Plaza and others, concerned with potential loss of business due to road closures and construction-related traffic disruptions, forced a meeting with the city to get assurances they would not be adversely impacted during their peak sales period in July and August.

Later in the spring, Figueira informed council that the awarding of the contract and start of construction would be deferred until sometime after the summer, due to difficulties in scheduling.

During last week’s council meeting, Figueira presented a report recommending the awarding of the $2,664,287.80 contract to Locar Industries, and in the report estimated a construction period of 270 days. That led councillors to ask whether the city was planning to honour the assurances it provided the Corfield businesses in March.

“This contractor says he can do the work in 240 days, and will endeavor to be done before July,” said Figueira. Coun. Kim Burden reminded Figueira of his meeting with the businesses earlier this year and his assurance to them that they would not suffer interruption to their businesses in the peak summer months.

“If it’s not finished in time, will you suspend work until the fall?” Burden asked.

Figueira noted such a delay would add cost to the project, as the contractor would have to demobilize and then return to remobilize from scratch.

“I will certainly assure the communication lines stay open, and will push contractor out of those months,” Figueira said. Two hundred and forty days puts us little into July. We’ll look for any ways we give it best opportunity to stay out of July; if we’re unable to do that, there would likely be additional costs to come out of this.”

Coun. Mary Beil suggested starting work at the Highway 19A end of Corfield, and moving toward Stanford so that most of the work in front of the shopping centre is completed befor summer.

That option was raised in the meeting with the businesses in March. Figueira said it could help, but noted the the final phase of the work would be paving of the entire roadway. However, he said, paving could be done without closing Corfield entirely.

Coun. Sue Powell asked if Figueira was telling council access to the shopping centre from Corfield would not be impacted.

“What I’m saying is, the access will never be cut off,” Figueira said.

The project includes both the upgrade of Corfield Street from Highway 19A to Stanford Avenue and a three-metre-wide by 400-metre-long, illuminated, paved multi-use trail from Corfield Street to McVickers Street, the city said in a written release.

The upgrades to Corfield include: replacing and upgrading water mains; sanitary sewer and storm drainage infrastructure, an upgrade of the roadway with two travel lanes; LED street lighting; parking; sidewalks; and dedicated bicycle lanes.

From Jensen to Highway 19A, Hydro, Telus and Shaw utilities will be buried under the roadway and a three-way stop will be added at the intersection of Corfield Street and Jensen Avenue.

The city said questions about the project should be directed to city engineering technologist Fred Pakkala at 250-951-2479, or by email at fpakkala@parksville.ca.

Updates to the project will be posted on the city’s website, www.parksville.ca, and shared through social media posts [#ParksvilleCorfieldUpgrades] and news releases.

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