The Newfoundland and Labrador government plans to spend more than $77 million on is roads this year, with some tenders for projects going out before the end of January.
The early tendering will help to keep prices down for roadwork in Newfoundland and Labrador this year, says Jim Organ, president of the Heavy Civil Construction Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (HCCANL).
Organ made his remarks after Premier Dwight Bell spoke to the association, observing that contractors will have more time to plan and hire, and they’ll be able to work more cost-effectively.
“That’s huge for our industry, it will definitely result in lower prices,” Organ told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Contractors are able to plan, they are able to prepare, they know what’s coming at them. They know how many employees they need. They know what they can spend.”
Transportation minister Al Hawkins says last year’s run of early tendering — where some were called in March — was a success and hopes that can be repeated.
“We were able to find areas where we did some block tendering,” he said of 2016. “We were able to add more roads … because the costs came back at a lower rate and gave us that flexibility.”
Ball also told the association that he plans to imminently unveil a five-year infrastructure plan, laying out which projects were on the government’s priority list.
“It’s important for the public to know how and where their money is being spent, so these projects will be based on need,” he said.