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Majority of Edmonton big capital projects are over budget or delayed

City council will review a report on the projects Tuesday as budget season ramps up

The Walterdale Bridge.

Wikimedia Commons

The Walterdale Bridge.

When it comes to high-profile capital projects, the city isn’t doing so hot: 17 out of 20 are either over budget, delayed or both, according to a new report headed to council Tuesday.  

Here's our quick breakdown of what's, well, broken or down — or instead, on budget. 

1. Milner Library Renewal: Slightly over budget, delayed

City administration is requesting to delay opening the Milner Library Renewal project by nearly two years, from Dec.  31, 2018 to March 31, 2020. Project costs are $6.5-million more than previously budgeted. Edmonton Public Library (EPL) said increased costs were from finding more work needed to improve the building’s mechanical and electrical systems. However, EPL says it will retrieve that money through cost-savings found in other projects. 

2. Northwest Police Campus: On budget, delayed

The city is requesting the Northwest Police Campus’ completion date be pushed by about two years, from Dec. 31, 2017 to March 31, 2019. The delay is due to additional design requirements for the facility. In the preliminary stages of the project, delays included incomplete site selection, site planning and facility programming. 

3. Walterdale Bridge: On budget, delayed

The opening of the Walterdale Bridge will again be pushed for another year, largely because construction crews lost the race against winter weather. The city hopes to open traffic on the bridge in mid-2017, while it’ll be entirely completed by Dec. 2017. Ryan Teplitsky, city construction project manager, said the liquid tar membrane (which keeps the concrete underneath waterproof) can’t be plastered when it’s below freezing or wet. If it’s installed during those conditions, it won’t stick, meaning the base-structure isn’t well protected. 

4. Valley Line LRT: On budget, on time

The only high-profile capital project that’s on time and on budget, the Valley LRT project has seen tree clearing, road preparation in Louise McKinney Park and soil testing. Work that’s expected to be in the beginning of next year include median removals along 66 Street, removing the Cloverdale Pedestrian Bridge, and digging into 102 Avenue for the tunnel.

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