A rendering of the new Johnson Street Bridge project in downtown Victoria

Johnson Street Bridge contractor requests more cash from Victoria

Fortin confident project can still be delivered on budget, despite PCL's request for $7.9 million addition to contract

The contractor of the new Johnson Street Bridge says it needs more money and another six months to complete the project, but Victoria’s mayor is still confident there won’t be cost overruns.

The city received a change order request from PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc (PCL) last month seeking a $7.9 million addition to the $92.8 million contract, and a 5.5-month extension to the timeline for bridge completion.

Change order requests are standard practice on larger construction projects, said Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, and city staff believe the project will nonetheless remain within budget.

“Both our staff and the design group (MMM Group Limited) will look at this request for merit, but in the end, it has to be within the fixed price contract,” Fortin said. “We have full expectation that they can and will manage the project within those parameters.”

Victoria has a fixed-price contract with PCL for the bridge with the exception of steel quantity. PCL contends its change order request was necessitated by a delay on design delivery, according to a staff report.

Fortin expects MMM Group will report back to the city “in fairly quick order” on the merit of PCL’s request.

“It was important that we got this letter out to the public in an effort to be transparent and open, but staff remain confident that the project can be completed on budget,” he said.

The city has a contingency budget of $2.8 million for the Johnson Street Bridge project. A staff report notes design is nearly complete and expected to be finalized next month. The blue bridge will remain open to traffic until late 2015, when the new bridge is slated for completion.

dpalmer@vicnews.com