Artists rendering of 14th Ave when widening project is completed.

Artists rendering of 14th Ave when widening project is completed.

Costs soar for 1st section of Mission’s 14th Ave. improvement project, budget increased over 40%

Original bid made for $2.8 million; increase of $1.2 million approved

The budget for the first section of the city’s project to improve 14th Avenue was increased by 40 per cent due to inflating costs of construction.

Mission council unanimously approved the increase on May 16.

The contractor’s initial $2.8 million bid for the work from Hurd to Tanager streets was considered best value and approved earlier this year, but inflation of asphalt and general construction costs have caused a “considerable shortfall,” according to the staff report.

Staff are now recommending a $1.2 million increase to the project, with another $450,000 in contingency funding; the vast majority will come from developer-fee reserves.

Mayor Paul Horn said that council and the public should be prepared for similar cost inflations related to any kind of construction.

He said asphalt is a byproduct of oil, so the increase is not surprising given the spike in oil prices.

“I think we have to as a community be ready … We are likely in a period of some inflation,” Horn said, citing recent comments from the governor of the Bank of Canada.

“We will need to be very cautious in the way we structure our contracts and our capital spending.”

The four-year program to improve 14th Avenue between Hurd and Cade Barr Street was approved by council in November, 2020, with a $9.3 million budget.

Missionites have been voicing concerns about pedestrian safety along the road for many years.

The construction will improve the roadway, utilities and sidewalks along 2,300 metres of the street.