Busy Construction Season Pushing Costs Up in Essex County

The cost of a project in Amherstburg lead to a discussion on the bigger picture for construction bids Monday night.

Council approved a $2.3-million tender for work on the 5th Concession between Alma St. to County Rd. 10, the only problem; the lowest bid is $300,000 more than they planned on spending. Coco Paving won the tender, with another company bidding $1-million more than the $2-million estimated cost.

Amherstburg Director of Engineering and Public Works Antonietta Giofu attributes the price-hike to supply and demand with the Gordie Howe International Bridge set to provide ample work.

"Contractors in this area will be overloaded and won't necessarily need the work, so what the municipalities are worried about and are already seeing is tender prices coming in higher than expected," says Giofu.

She says CAO's from around Essex County have been talking about the spike in costs.

"We wanted to make sure it wasn't just an Amherstburg trend, so we did look at the surrounding municipalities and what their tender results were coming in at and it's not just our municipality," she added.

Giofu tells AM800 News the town is already taking a look at priority list.

"Are we going to proceed with some of the work that we're hoping to get done or are we going to hold back for a certain number of years? Save that money, put it in a reserve and then when things start to slow down, maybe go with those projects," she says.

She says the 5th Concession project is in the top five of the town's priority list and would likely cost far more to fix if the project isn't completed this year.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is slated for completion in 2024.