Oliver canal fix awarded to local firm for $9.2 million

Canal fix finally underway

The Town of Oliver has pulled the trigger on awarding the contract for a $9.2 million fix for a long-needed repair to the Gallagher Lake siphon in its canal. 

At a meeting Tuesday, council gave the go-ahead to H&M Excavating Ltd., a local company that offered one of four finalist bids from $9.2 million to $13.2 million. 

The bids all included construction and archaeological contingency plans, of up to $500,000 and $290,000 respectively. 

"We just don't know what we're going to dig up," said Steve Underwood with TRUE Consulting.

"We have a $500,000 contingency and we also have a $290,000 archaeological contingency, and that's for what we might dig up ... I think we're more than safe with those two contingencies." 

The canal was damaged in 2016 by a rockslide. After many fruitless years of seeking monetary help from the federal government, the Town finally bit the bullet in late 2019 and borrowed the money to get the fix done. 

H&M Excavating's plan was the cheapest, awarded at $9,231,423.92 inclusive of GST and contingency, and includes PVC pipes manufactured in Canada, which are currently in stock in Alberta. 

Underwood said the whole project is likely to take "two winters," and will be underway as soon as possible. 

$5 million towards the project has been pledged by the provincial government. 

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