Plans to shore up the banks of the Kaslo River are on hold again after bids on the project came in over budget. Photo: Greg Nesteroff

Plans to shore up the banks of the Kaslo River are on hold again after bids on the project came in over budget. Photo: Greg Nesteroff

High bids kibosh fall start on Kaslo River project

Village going back to the drawing board

By John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative, The Valley Voice

A long-awaited project to do repair work to the stream bank of the Kaslo River has been delayed again, after bids on the project came in nearly twice that of estimates.

The Village of Kaslo sent out requests for bids this fall on the project, which would see restoration and repair work done along the riverbank as the stream runs through the village. But contractors’ bids were far higher than expected, with the highest coming in at nearly $600,000.

“The competitive market and a tight timeline seemed to have played a role, as we tried to work with the deadlines imposed for environmental permits to get the work completed this fall,” CAO Ian Dunlop said.

“The environmental measures were the biggest factor in the overrun, as the costs for coffer dams, dewatering and environmental management came in much higher than estimated.”

Planning for the project began in 2016. The project has already been delayed due to increasingly stringent federal fisheries regulations and provincial environmental requirements for working in or around natural watercourses, says Dunlop. It took nearly two years for the village to get federal clearances for the project.

The project is being paid for through the UBCM structural flood mitigation program with $305,000 for this phase of the project and another $148,000 for the second phase.

“Both funding applications will be revised in light of the increased costs,” the CAO says. “The village will consider a combination of revised specifications, what work the village can do to reduce costs, and applying for more funding.”

Dunlop said they plan to go back to the permit authorities to ask for an extension to get the work done over winter while the river levels are at their lowest.

“Once we have an indication of permit extension and funding prospects, we anticipate issuing a new tender with a revised scope in November with the aim of work being completed before spring freshet,” he says.

The project has identified five sections of the riverbank along the Kaslo River and one section of a flood protection dike that needs remediation to reduce the risk of overland flooding. Consultants have determined the remediation plan and worked out rough estimated costs.

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