TRURO – A delay in the startup of sidewalk construction in Brookfield is creating concerns that the project may not be finished before school resumes in two weeks.
And that could create safety issues for students walking to and from school along Highway 289, area Coun. Geoff Stewart told Colchester County council Thursday night.
“It’s going to cause a lot of havoc again,” Stewart said, if the project is not completed by the Aug. 28 contract date, in reference to a similar situation that occurred last year.
“I have a few concerns with what’s going on,” Stewart said, adding that he had been told the company was late getting started on the project because it was short on staff.
The project involves 700 metres of new sidewalk along Highway 289, from the bridge on the Little River to Upper Brookfield Road.
Stewart said if the project is not completed before school begins, students would be forced to cross the highway in at least two locations where no crosswalks exist, while heavy equipment is in operation and with vehicular traffic moving through.
“The county signed a contract with the company with some timelines and deadline,” he said, before raising the question of what safety measures would be put in place to protect students and what penalties are in place that would be imposed against the company if it failed to meet the contract stipulations.
County CAO Ramesh Ummat told council that staff has been in touch with company officials who maintain the project will be finished on time.
If that doesn’t happen, Mid Valley Construction will be subject to financial penalties as well as paying for all “reasonable” costs associated with providing crossing guards or other safety measures to ensure student safety.
Coun. Doug McInnes, meanwhile, also raised concerns about another Mid Valley Construction project underway in his constituency of Central Onslow.
“It hasn’t been a nice experience that’s, for sure,” MacInnes said, of the complaints he has been receiving from residents in that area.
And given the issues the municipality has had with Mid Valley, MacInnes suggested the county take a position of not dealing with the company for future construction projects.
The Kingston, N.S. company won out over five other companies for the Brookfield tender with a bid of $534,225. The next lowest bid came in from Brycon Construction at $596,290.