By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
The contract to build a Type 4 intersection on Hwy. 12 at the west end of Stettler has been awarded.
Tendering for the project was initially shelved during the council meeting on June 5th, as Alberta Transportation (AT) had required a change for the speed rating of the intersection. The intersection was initially designed to be rated for 50 km/hr, however when AT reviewed the intersection, they asked that the speed rating be increased to a 70km/hr intersection so as to keep traffic flow moving.
Due to the change in scope of the project, Town administration requested that the project tender be changed and resubmitted, a request which was granted.
With the changes made, the project was re-tendered, and subsequently five contractors bid on the project, including two local companies.
Due to the scope of the project, in addition to the bid process all the companies were reviewed by Tagish Engineering, the Town of Stettler’s engineering contractor on the project.
After reviewing the bids and the review, which weighted pricing against project experience and safety, Town of Stettler administration recommended that the bid be awarded to local contractor Wally’s Backhoe Services, despite them not coming in as the lowest bidder.
“I like to see the two locals,” said Coun. Al Campbell.
“We’re maybe not giving the new guy a chance. To me, it is a little unfair that they mark them so tough.”
Wally’s bid for the project came in at around $690,000, around $80,000 more than the lowest bid, Watson’s Welding. Watson’s Welding is another Stettler-based business.
Town of Stettler Director of Operations Melissa Robbins, however, stood by her decision.
“We’re talking a large-scale project here,” said Robbins.
“Experience is going to make or break this project.”
The original budget for the project was around $600,000; however, due to the change in scope, by the time engineering costs and contingency is accounted for the project will end up coming out to around $850,000.
Councillor Gord Lawlor moved that the project be awarded to Wally’s Backhoe Service, saying that, “This project needs to happen.”
The project will be funded through the 2021 Capital Budget.