The construction hasn’t begun yet, but the price is already going up for the Connecting Link redesign. Mayor Steve Black says the city has gotten numbers for the cost of construction, and they were higher than expected. No exact price is being released yet, but the original estimate was going to be $4.5 million to do three kilometres of Highway 101, from the Bruce-Y to Rae Hill. However, Black says they will now only be able to redo 1.4 kilometres of the road in the first phase. That will reach to around where the cemetery is, and will include repaving the road, installing paved shoulders, and putting in additional street lights.
Black says this means the construction won’t get as far towards Rae Hill as the city wanted. He says that will have to be finished in another phase with another application for funding from the provincial government. He also notes that the Connecting Link is largely a provincial responsibility.
Black calls the news disappointing, and says council is going to have to think outside of the box to come up with some solutions moving forward. He says there may be some different approaches to tackling the project, and says council will be hearing ideas from members of the public in an upcoming meeting.
Black says from there, the city will have to find the most financially efficient way to move forward with the project. That will be opposed to relying on the province to fund the majority of the redesign.