Staff at the City of Victoria are asking council for $3.85 million to replace the balustrade along Dallas Road.
The 500 m long, seafoam-green wall is made of concrete and steel and was installed along the strip in 1957. It has now reached the end of its life.
“The concrete is delaminating and spalling, and the structural steel is corroded,” a staff report coming to council this week reads. “Deterioration has progressed to a point were areas of the structure are being mechanically supported with steel strapping in order to maintain guardrail safety.”
Staff are opting to replace the wall with a stanchion and wire cable structure, similar to the one seen along Ogden Point.
Less robust walls are required now, staff argue, because any cars will be approximately eight metres from the water’s edge, separated by bike lanes and bollards.
In August council endorsed the replacement of the balustrade and approved $150,000 for designs.
At the time staff reported that the costs would be “over $1 million for removal/replacement/fabrication installation, not including contingencies.”
|Costs to replace the balustrade were originally pegged at closer to $1 million in an Aug. 8, 2019 committee of the whole meeting. (screenshot/City of Victoria)
Now costs have been estimated significantly higher to also include the for pavement, sidewalk, bike lane and bollard installation ($1.17 million) and railing and structural manufacture and installation ($1.09 million). Staff also added a 30 per cent contingency, equating $890,000, to cover potential issues.
“A 30 per cent contingency has been applied to this project which is in line with the City’s contingency policy on large projects,” the report reads. “On this project, staff are managing risks related to contaminated materials, archaeology and the removal of 60-year-old concrete structure.”
Staff argue that acting sooner than later will actually cut down costs, as construction on the wall will line up with the ongoing construction for the CRD’s wastewater treatment plant, also happening along Dallas Road as pipes are installed.
|A cost breakdown for the new balustrade. (File contributed/City of Victoria)
“The additional balustrade scope will add a few months of additional time to the CRD project, with completion of the balustrade scheduled for fall 2020, but will avoid any requirement to mobilize again,” the report reads. “If the balustrade replacement was deferred beyond this approval process, additional construction phases would be required to mobilize and restart construction and would damage or require reconstruction of much of the new sidewalks, pathways and parking.”
The report estimates that lining up this timing could save the city $475,000.
Funding for the project would come from the city’s Buildings and Infrastructure Reserve.
If approved, construction would begin in the spring with a completion date set for the fall.