Town of Lake Cowichan’s roundabout construction to begin…soon

Town is still not sure exactly when construction on the roundabout and South Shore Road resurfacing project will begin

The site of a new roundabout

The site of a new roundabout

The town is still not sure exactly when construction on the roundabout and South Shore Road resurfacing project will begin, but mayor and council are hopeful it will be in the near future.

At the May 14, Finance and Administration meeting, mayor and council reviewed a letter sent from Janelle Erwin from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure stating, in part, that the ministry needs confirmation that the town will commit $539,973 to the project.

“Our initial forecast for this project was $500,000,” says Coun. Tim McGonigle.

This difference in the price tag means that if there are complications and further costs are accrued, the town will not have contingency funding in place to deal with them within this fiscal year.

“If something comes forward in this project, I’m sure that it will be brought to this table and we’ll make that decision then,” says McGonigle.

Those decisions could include delaying parts of the project such as some of the proposed medians, landscaping, or other.

“If it means a delay in the project then I guess that’s the avenue we’re going to have to take,” adds McGonigle.

Even with this concern, council did vote to go ahead with the project and to deal with any unforeseen expenses as they arise. All those at the table were in agreement that they did not want to look at options such as borrowing to complete the project, but did acknowledge that any unforeseen costs associated with complications may have to be put into next year’s budget.

Friday, May 17 will have seen a meeting between the ministry and Mayor Forrest, Superintendent of Public Works, Nagi Rizk, and Chief Administrative Officer Joseph Fernandez where they will have had a chance to air some of their concerns about the project.

“We’re going to go over some of the details, timelines and we could stress this issue of sticking to the budget,” says Fernandez.

The total cost of the project, to the town, is budgeted at $750,000, which does not include the paving of South Shore Road, as the ministry is responsible for that portion of the project. Nor does it include the $100,000 cost for landscaping and irrigation.

“Once [the ministry] has our commitment to partner, I hope they will expedite the award process,” says McGonigle.