06 March 2013

Pennies and Pounds #nlpoli

In May 2011, the provincial public works department issued a call for proposals to replace the lift bridge in Placentia.

In August 2011, the department scrapped the project and went back for a re-think.  They got only one proposal for $43.25 million, which upset them given that they had figured it would only cost $24 million.

In March 2013, they accepted a tender for $40.6 million to replace the bridge. The release noted that the new tender was $2.5 million less than the one they’d cancelled.

Nice thought, that, but it actually isn’t a true reflection of the situation, is it?

In between  the cancellation and the new award, the provincial government paid for repairs to the bridge, restricted the vehicles that could use it, and installed cameras to keep an eye on things. The January 2012 announcement came to $1 million. Another tender went out for $1.7 million more.

They’ve had to close the bridge every now and then both to vehicles and for boats trying to go under it.

They cancelled a tender for $43.25 million and about 18 months later, they accepted one for $40.6 million on top of the $2.7 million in repairs they had to spend in the meantime. 

That adds up to $43.3 million.

The new tender might be about $2.5 million less than the first one.

But the total cost of the cancellation,  the interim repairs and the new tender actually wound up costing taxpayers $50,000 more than if they’d gone ahead in 2011 with the tender they got.

Let’s not even factor in all the stress and aggravation they caused the people who depend on the bridge. In political terms, that would be priceless.