Fredericton courthouse construction bid substantially over budget; project stalled


CaDCR staff writer

Construction has stopped on the Fredericton courthouse building after the lone bid submitted by EllisDon for phase three of the build – the largest contract to complete the construction of the building – was more than $30 million over the New Brunswick government’s budget.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure cancelled the main tender for construction after receiving one bid from EllisDon.

“The closing price did not represent good value for the Province and so it was cancelled,” department spokesperson Tyler McLean told CBC News. According to the government’s online tenders portal, EllisDon submitted a bid of $93.27 million for “the largest contract” to complete the construction.

“At this time, the Phase 2 contractor is beginning to demobilize from the site,” McLean is quoted saying in a CBC article. There will be a short period of inactivity on the site until the Main Tender begins.”

Capital costs for the project were estimated at $60 million. Construction was expected to be completed in 2025 through a multi-phased tender process. The initial tenders will complete site preparations, foundations, and structural steel, before moving to the final building construction, commissioning, and fit-up.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI) in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Public Safety (JPS) broke ground on the new Fredericton Justice Building in December 2021. To be located on King Street between Regent Street and Carleton Street, the new courthouse was announced in the summer of 2021.

The 110,000 square foot, six storey building will provide the space required to meet the needs of our client – the Department of Justice and Public Safety and include many smart features such as cutting-edge video conferencing technology.

An enhanced screening area, a Sheriff’s suite  secure holding area for persons attending court while in custody and 10 courtrooms are included in the design.

The new building design is a collaborative effort that incorporates function and experience. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure provided context and operational observation from the Moncton and Saint John Courthouse buildings.


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