Wed, 02 Mar 2022
The Burloak Drive Grade Separation (underpass) project is belatedly going ahead at triple the planned cost after years of delay by Metrolinx and their Public-Private Partnership (P3) bidding process. The project costs have now increased to $177.3 million from an initial estimate of $60 million.
Last week, Metrolinx requested that the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington pay half of the inflated project cost, or close to $45 million each instead of the agreed $15 million each, only a few days before a procurement contract was to be awarded.
This presents an unforeseen financial challenge for the town in order to complete this critical infrastructure enhancement. Town Council asked staff to explore all options to finalize a new cost sharing arrangement based on the latest project cost. Staff will report back to Council with options by May 2022.
Burloak Drive underpass project is a joint initiative between the Town of Oakville, City of Burlington and Metrolinx to create safer roads and reduce traffic congestion at the Lakeshore West rail crossing on Burloak Drive. Metrolinx originally estimated the project budget at $60 million, with Burlington and Oakville each contributing $15 million (or 25 per cent) and the remainder funded by Metrolinx (50 per cent). In 2018, Council approved the principles of cost sharing which saw the town’s contribution confirmed at $15 million.
With the project cost now increasing significantly to $177.3 million, Oakville’s share would rise by an additional $29.3 million over and above the $15 million committed in 2018.
“We are extremely disappointed upon learning of the three-fold cost increase for the Burloak Drive underpass project after Metrolinx and its P3 bidding process blew the lid off the budget. This is a critical infrastructure project and we will explore every option available to keep it on schedule and we are committed to continuing our discussions with Metrolinx and the City of Burlington to jointly seek solutions.”
Mayor Rob Burton