Regional District of Nanaimo directors will decide later this month about whether to spend close to $684,000 on trail construction near the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.
The project would see a frontage trail established in the Hammond Bay Road area in Nanaimo. Under committee of the whole recommendations, approved at a June 9 meeting, the RDN would award a $524,771 construction contract to IWCE Excavation Ltd., in addition to a $78,716 reserve fund for expenses that may arise during construction. In addition, a separate recommendation calls for approval of $80,500 ($70,000 and a reserve fund of $10,500) to Herold Engineering for engineering construction services.
According to a staff report, the trail is a requirement of building and development permits issued by the City of Nanaimo during secondary treatment construction work at the pollution control centre. The trail project will see sidewalk dismantled on Hammond Bay Road, between McGuffie Road and Shores Drive, and a three-metre-wide trail taking its place. The trail would allow for pedestrian and cycling use and would be offset from Hammond Bay Road by a treed boulevard, the report said.
In order to help alleviate traffic on Hammond Bay Road, a bus pullout would be added as part of the project, with RDN Transit providing $90,000 toward cost of construction.
A third recommendation would amend a licence agreement between the city and RDN to include land on Shores Drive as part of the trail.
Ian Thorpe, RDN board chairman, said he thinks the trail is an innovative way to beautify the neighbourhood and to improve active transportation opportunities along Hammond Bay Road and the Neck Point Park trail network.
In terms of cost, Thorpe said every project is unique and it is impossible to say if there is an average price, as it depends on scope and challenges related to a project.
“The report went out to tender and we got several bids on it as we have to do,” said Thorpe. “I would in no way call it exorbitant. I think the cost is reasonable for what we’re getting and we have to have a reserve set aside as well, so there was certainly no question or hesitation by the board in feeling that it was out of line.”
Trail construction-related costs are within the $81.7 million budget set aside for the control centre’s secondary waste treatment upgrades, the report said.
The recommendations are set to go before directors at the RDN board meeting June 23.