In Toronto, “construction” and “delays” tend to go hand in hand, so it’s not exactly a surprise that several road resurfacing projects slated to commence this month have been postponed.
According to a statement from the City of Toronto, three Request for Tenders (RFTs) that would have gotten the ball rolling on millions of dollars worth of local and residential road work were cancelled this summer, on August 15. This was after six companies bid in response to the RFTs.
“Following a review of the bids submitted for the RFTs, City staff had concerns with some of the bids, so it was determined that the RFTs required further clarification. When changes are required in an RFT after closing, the process usually is to cancel the solicitation and issue a new RFT with the new changes,” a spokesperson for the City tells STOREYS. “To ensure an open, fair, competitive and transparent procurement process, the changes will be made to the bid requirements and the revised tenders will be republished shortly thereafter. Retendering is planned to take place in 2022.”
With the tendering process delayed, the road repair work has been pushed until 2023, but the City spokesperson says that the majority of the work was scheduled for next year anyways. The current expectation is that the repair work will start and commence at some point in 2023.
Although the City has not confirmed that budgetary issues are at play, there is some speculation that financial constraints are behind the delays.
Additionally, there is concern that the delayed repairs will be more costly to the City in the long run. As it were, the projects slated for 2022 were expected to eat up about 20% of the road repaving budget for the year. Waiting until next year to resume the projects means that the damaged roads could worsen over what is expected to be a harsh winter.
Meanwhile, Toronto’s midtown is experiencing perhaps the exact opposite problem. Scheduled road reconstruction, sidewalk replacement, and watermain replacements have been underway on Glen Cedar Road -- between Eglinton Avenue West and Ava Road -- since June. Although the work was supposed to conclude in mid-August, additional repairs -- supposedly due to “soft spots” detected in the newly-paved asphalt -- have prolonged the work, leaving residents to cope with additional weeks of blockages and traffic.
“The City is aware of and sympathetic to the frustration expressed by residents. This work was necessary for the local infrastructure to remain in a state of good repair and was coordinated with the Eglinton Crosstown work in order to reduce the impacts on residents in the long-term,” the City spokesperson goes on to say. “All the major construction work is now completed, all that remains is minor restoration work (which is common after work like this) that will be completed by the contractor. The City of Toronto is committed to renewing aging infrastructure and coordinating work in a way to minimize disruption to local residents and the travelling public as much as possible.”