Cost estimates for new Johnson Street Bridge in

Figures being kept under wraps during deliberations by City of Victoria

Mum’s the word on the preliminary cost estimates submitted by engineering firms competing for the job of replacing the Johnson Street Bridge.

In a closed-door meeting last Thursday, city council was briefed on the three indicative pricing submissions and advised to keep their mouths shut, to safeguard the integrity of the competition.

When asked if the prices are anywhere near the city’s $98.2-million budget for the project, Mayor Dean Fortin declined to comment.

“I can’t really say anything,” he said. “We must protect the confidentiality of the information that’s been given to us by these proponents. That’s important to make sure that we do have a very strong, fair competition process, and that’s how we’re getting the best value.”

Next, the city’s bridge project directors will work with the three firms to find efficiencies and design improvements to lower the cost.

By the end of summer, proponents will submit formal construction proposals with fixed prices. After council selects the winning bidder, construction is expected to start late this year.

“The fact that we have these three world-class proponents means that the process is working so far,” Fortin said. “We’ve set up a competitive process with two intended results: a fixed-price bridge contract that’s going to be on budget and on design. We have confidence in the process that it’s gong to deliver those two objectives.”

The three proponents are PCL Constructors West Coast Inc., Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. and WCC Construction Canada, ULC.

rholmen@vicnews.com