Greenwood water project encounters peat bog

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An unexpected encounter with a peat bog will increase the cost of the North Greenwood water extension project.

Engineering Services supervisor Tim Bouter reported on the situation to county council Nov. 26. The project involves the installation of a new water transmission main along Meadowvale Road and Tremont Mountain Road.

During construction, the contractor encountered peat in the area of the intersection and brook. There was a 210-metre section of peat at a depth of only 600 to 750 millimeters below the surface of the asphalt road. Engineering consultant GENIVAR recommended the use of a different kind of pipe to allow for installation in the unstable material without compromising the entire roadway. The province owns the road.

“It’s not the most stable material for the road to be on,” Bouter said, pointing out that they were surprised to encounter the unsuitable material. The engineering department knew about the high water table in the area, but not the peat, he said.

Engineering and Public Works manager Scott Quinn said this is the first time he’s seen something like this during his time with the municipality. However, he said the area of peat is fairly confined and is not a widespread problem.

However, availability of the required pipe was a problem. Only one supplier in North America had the 450 mm HDPE DR11 pipe and they couldn’t hold it beyond Nov. 18.

Chief Administrative Officer Tom MacEwan approved the extra $124,000 needed on Nov. 15, as he is allowed to do in emergency situations under the municipality’s procurement policy.

Bouter said the project is still expected to come in under budget at $1.5 million. The total budget is $1.6 million. The $100,000 contingency amount built into the original contract is expected to be sufficient for any amendments outside of the change order for the pipe.

Organizations: Engineering Services

Geographic location: Meadowvale Road, Tremont Mountain Road, North America

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  • Chris Bennett
    December 05, 2013 - 02:58

    I thought the contracting company sounded familiar. When I heard about a cost increase I remembered this story about a bridge they were building in Ottawa. http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/12/03/monumental-failure-airport-bridge-project-to-cost-extra-465m