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Transportation and Works
August 18, 2011

Provincial Government to Re-evaluate Options for Placentia Lift Bridge

The Provincial Government has decided not to award the tender for the construction of a new lift bridge to replace the existing structure across Placentia Gut in Placentia.

“We called a tender for the construction of a new lift bridge in May and only one bid was received which was significantly above the estimated cost,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works. “The bid was so high, in fact, that the only responsible decision was not to award the tender and re-evaluate options.”

The only bid received was $43.25 million. The estimated value of this tender was $24 million, making the tendered price $19.25 million above the estimate.

“Residents and businesses of this region have been looking forward to a long-term solution to ongoing issues with the existing bridge,” said the Honourable Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and MHA for Placentia - St. Mary’s. “Given the extremely high bid price, it is incumbent upon us as a government to undertake a thorough review process to determine if there are other viable and more cost-effective options.”

Initially, Department of Transportation and Works bridge engineers felt that rehabilitation of the existing structure was not cost-effective. Based on estimates at the time, the replacement of the existing bridge with another vertical lift bridge was deemed the best option from a cost-benefit perspective.

With the bid for this tender coming in so high, the department will immediately begin a full review of the existing bridge to provide more details around the exact condition of the current structure, and costing and potential years of service life for a rehabilitated structure. The review will also help determine whether the scope of work for a replacement structure can be revised to make the project more cost-effective.

In the interim, the existing bridge will remain open to traffic. Last inspected in March, the bridge remains structurally sound and will continue to receive repairs as required.

“We recognize the importance of an improved bridge structure at Placentia Gut,” said Minister Hedderson. “We will be moving to formulate a new plan of action to address the long-term needs in this area as quickly as possible.”

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Media contacts:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267
Anita Hynes
Executive Assistant to the
Honourable Felix Collins
MHA for Placentia - St. Mary’s

2011 08 18                                                                        1:20 p.m.

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