UPDATE: September 25, 2018
Time sure does fly. After a busy spring, we finally wrapped up the Environmental Impact Assessment Process for the second phase of our Lorne Street Stormwater Mitigation Project. We officially received our Certificate of Determination from the Minister of the Department of the Environment and Local Government back on April 23, 2018. Between April and May, our consult, Crandall Engineering, was busy finalizing the necessary tender package to the get the project to the next step, which is construction. In lead up to the tender, we were very grateful to have the opportunity to spend an evening with a group of local biologists who helped us review the preliminary design of one of the naturalized stormwater retention ponds.
The tender package for Lorne Street Phase II was issued on June 1, 2018 and closed on June 28, 2018. We had a significant amount of interest in the tender and in the end, we had four submissions on Phase II. To our consultant’s surprise, the lowest tender submitted was almost double the budgeted amount available to complete Phase II. The construction budget for Phase II was approximately $3 million.
Overall, this is a very complex project, that requires us to work through the marsh, and into the Bay of Fundy. The majority of the additional costs are related to the nature of the soils and the overall excavation depths required for the system to work by gravity to the proposed deeper aboiteau. There are other significant costs too, such as the large and sophisticated crossing under the CN Rail line and the new aboiteau itself.
We’re continuing to work with our consulting team to evaluate the options that are now available within the allocated budget. We’re also exploring alternative sources of funding that may be able to help. Regardless, we still remain focused on the overall priority, which is to mitigate stormwater in the Lorne Street area.
Our consultants publicly presented the options available, as well as the next steps for the project, at our September 4, 2018 Special Council Meeting. At this point in time, our consults are working on the engineering design for a modified plan. This plan will still require stormwater to be controlled in a naturalized retention pond on St. James Street. However, in the short-term, the water will be directed and discharged to an existing aboiteau, as opposed to a new ditching system and new aboiteau at the Tantramar River. It’s important to note that this is a short-term solution and the long-term plan remains unchanged, but will require future phasing. Until the long-term goal is achieved, this area of our community will still vulnerable to flooding.
Once the engineered design for this change in scope is prepared the project will proceed to tender. This is expected to take place in October. After the tender closes and we have additional information available, we will be scheduling a public information meeting to discuss the project in greater detail, including the construction schedule, any anticipated disruptions, timelines, etc.
We want to sincerely thank our residents and business community for their continued support and patience with this project. We look forward to getting things underway.
Stay tuned for further details!