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Council awards Junction Road and Athol Road contractsThe reconstruction of a significant piece of municipal roadway infrastructure has taken a big leap forward in Cumberland County.

 During a special council meeting via Zoom on Monday, May 1, the Municipality of Cumberland awarded Dexter Construction Company Ltd. the contract for the Junction Road Rehabilitation Project for a value of $7.292 million plus HST, while Cumberland Paving and Contracting has been awarded the contract for the Athol Road Watermain Replacement Project for $2,361,912 plus HST.

Council also voted to approve the revised budget and capital funding for the projects at $10,068,065.

“These contracts that we awarded today are very important to the whole of Cumberland County,” Municipality of Cumberland Mayor Murray Scott said. “Junction Road in Springhill has been in need of major repair for decades. It’s the main connecting road on Trunk 2 from the northern part of Cumberland all the way down to Parrsboro and the Fundy Shore. It’s a major part of highway infrastructure for emergency vehicles, tourism and business. Everyone agrees it's one of the worst pieces of road that’s maintained by the municipality.

“For us, as a municipality, I’m really pleased to see council make this investment. It will pay dividends for many years.”

Tenders for both the Junction Road and Athol Road projects were called earlier this year and closed on April 5 with two submissions received for each tender.

The costs of both projects exceeded the cost estimates provided by the engineering consultant when preparing the application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The primary driver of the cost overages is the water infrastructure. Stormwater infrastructure was also significantly above the project’s estimate.

After HST recoveries, the Junction Road project will cost $7,604,827. Funding is coming from a variety of sources - $3.7 million from the ICIP Fund, $730,000 from the CCBF Fund (formerly Gas Tax), about $170,000 from general capital reserves and almost $3 million from funds generated by the Springhill area rate and the former Springhill Water Utility.

Net costs of the Athol Road project of $2,463,238 are being funded by just over $1 million in ICIP funds and the balance of about $1.45 million from water utility surplus funds.

The Junction Road project will see a completely new streetscape with a new urbanized right-of-way, including sidewalks on both sides of the street, concrete curb and gutter and new asphalt. The project will see a new water main as well as the replacement of the sanitary sewer along the right-of-way and a new stormwater system and replacing ditching with a curb and gutter.

The Athol Road project will replace an aging water distribution line that extends for about a kilometre from McGee Street to Beaton Lane, replacing an aging and smaller diameter water line that serves approximately 60 residents. It will also see street resurfacing from McGee Street to the former town boundary.

Council also approved the contract for the paving of municipal streets in Parrsboro and Springhill to Cumberland Paving & Contracting for a value of $830,111.

The contract is valued at $522,301.01 for the Springhill portion of the project, and $343,421.76 for Parrsboro. Both portions are funded by CCBF Funds.

Through the dissolution of the former Towns of Springhill and Parrsboro, the Municipality remains responsible for about 32.4 kilometres of roads (including 3.15 km of gravel) in Parrsboro and 36.3 kilometres of roads (including 1.3 km of gravel) in Springhill. Taxpayers in both communities pay an additional area rate to fund the maintenance of streets, sidewalks and storm drainage.