Thursday July 23, 2015
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 23, 2015
Randle Reef construction starting in spring
After years of delay, the harbour toxic blob will be encapsulated at a cost of almost $140M
The Hamilton company that will take on the first phase of the long awaited Randle Reef Remediation Project won’t be starting construction until the spring of 2016.
Environment Canada says it’s too late this year to begin work encapsulating the giant toxic blob in Hamilton Harbour. As well, it will take several months for steel to be made for the containment walls.
The $138.9-million project to deal with the worst coal tar contaminated site in Canada had been snarled for years in delays, technical studies, funding disputes, and legalities. Then in February 2014 a call for bidders was issued with expectations of construction beginning that summer.
But that was dashed when all the bids came in over budget and government officials had to go back to the drawing board. A second request for proposals was issued in the spring of 2015, with hopes of construction beginning this summer.
But now—with the awarding of the contract to McNally Construction of Hamilton taking until last week – actual construction has been put off again.
“I had a feeling this would happen,” said Lynda Lukasik, of Environment Hamilton. “It is par for the course. We have been waiting a long time.”
But she said she is pleased the project has reached a point that a contract has been awarded for the first of three phases.
Jonathan Gee, of Environment Canada, said one aspect of the project will move ahead in September. In a separate contract with a different construction company, work will begin on reconstructing a harbour wall along the shoreline.
The entire remediation project is slated for completion in 2022. “Two years to build the box, two years to fill the box, and three years to put a lid on the box,” said Gee. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)