Mix 106.5

Mix 106.5

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Owen Sound River Precinct Project Delayed

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Councillors and staff are concerned after completion of the project has been pushed back again.

The Downtown River Precinct project is not expected to be done by this week's substantial completion deadline.

It may not even be done in time to host the inaugural Riverside Reunion as it's been planned later this month.

Owen Sound's Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas told councillors at Monday night's meeting there have been hold-ups in completing the new pavilion outside the Farmer's Market and he has "no confidence" it will be done by Friday's deadline.

Several councillors aired concerns over the delays because of approaching events and the looming closure of the 10th Street Bridge.

Kefalas said the city is working with the general contractor on the project to ensure it moves along as fast as possible.

He told councillors the city does have penalties in its contract it can close if the project is not substantially complete by Sept. 13 -- a deadline that was already extended once by the city from the initial target of Aug. 30.

Kefalas said a decision will be made Friday or early next week on whether or not the city will impose liquidated damages.

"We're deeply considering that but it's a decision we have to look at as the city as a whole about whether we're going to bring that in play or not," Kefalas explained.

Coun. Richard Thomas said when council approved the project they were quite clear the Downtown River Precinct had to be complete before the 10th Street Bridge project had begun.

"And now quite clearly it's not going to be," Thomas said. "The main contractor has done an exemplary job ... but there are problems with a few of the subcontractors."

Thomas said his main concern is the traffic issues that would be created downtown if 1st Avenue East remains closed once the 10th Street Bridge replacement begins.

Councillors heard from city staff 1st Avenue East is expected to be complete and re-opened prior to the closure of the 10th Street Bridge on Sept. 25.

Deputy Mayor Brian O'Leary said he is starting to become concerned about whether or not the project will be done in time for the Riverside Reunion on Sept. 28.

Kefalas said the Riverside Reunion is not in jeopardy of being cancelled if the Downtown River Precinct is not complete in time as there is a back-up plan to re-locate the event if needed.

But, he said the hope is it won't have to be moved. Kefalas noted the city will be looking to see what needs to be done to gain occupancy of the new pavilion at the Farmer's Market before Sept. 28, or may just even cordon off the pavilion and still hold the Riverside Reunion on 1st Avenue East if the project is not done by the event date.


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