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At least $11M over budget

A major highway project in Victoria will be at least $11 million over budget due to design changes, weather delays and other setbacks, the province confirmed Tuesday.

The McKenzie interchange update comes after the Transportation Ministry announced in April that the project was six months behind schedule.

At the time, ministry officials were unable to say how delays would affect the project’s $85-million budgeted cost. They now say the approved budget has risen to $96 million.

The province will absorb the entire $11-million cost overrun, boosting its contribution to $63.4 million from $52.4 million. The federal share remains at $32.6 million.

“The budget increase is attributed to design modifications to the centre pier due to variable rock conditions, additional environmental management, and schedule delays due to winter weather and efforts to lessen traffic and noise impacts,” the ministry said in a statement.

The project includes a bridge that will allow traffic to pass over the Trans-Canada Highway.

Janelle Staite, regional deputy director for the Transportation Ministry, told reporters in April that when crews went to drill pilings for the bridge's centre pier, they encountered rock sooner than expected. The rock was also highly variable, prompting modifications to the pier’s design.

As well, construction came to a halt after a heavy snowfall hit the capital region in February, Staite said.

Earlier delays were caused by changes to the work schedule in order to reduce noise and mitigate traffic delays.

Work on the project began in 2016. The government initially expected to finish construction in 2018, but pushed that to 2019 and then to the summer of 2020.



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