Latest Updates on Massive Construction Project in Mississauga
The issue of proper stormwater mitigation has become more important these past few years, as large cities and other municipalities have had to cope with more frequent and intense flooding. The old adage of ‘the 100 year storm’ just doesn’t apply anymore when those storms are now coming every five or 10 years.
The City of Mississauga recently implemented a stormwater charge on residential and commercial property. It’s also started work on infrastructure projects designed to better absorb stormwater. It’s a no brainer to realize that when you pave over natural land with concrete and asphalt, the chances of the stormwater runoff being absorbed back into the earth decreases.
One of those projects was designed to alleviate flooding of Cooksville Creek. This stormwater management pond, known as the Matheson Pond Project, is being constructed to deal with flooding issues and protect other environmental features in the Cooksville watershed, such as water quality and stream erosion. The pond was designed to provide quality control for flows up to those ‘100 year storms.’
The Matheson Pond Project as seen from Matheson Boulevard West
According to Muneef Ahmad, the city’s Manager of Stormwater Projects, the infrastructure element of the Matheson Pond is nearing completion and they are moving to the final landscaping. The city will also be completing a number of lookouts, installing outdoor fitness equipment, public art, and a 1 kilometre walking loop trail.
However, back in 2012, the original cost was supposed to be $17.3 million. The budget has since increased to $22.8 million, with construction slated to finish this year. The current costs have ballooned to $25.6 million; all of this is primarily funded through municipal property taxes, development charges, the stormwater charge as well as developer contributions.
To explain the increase, Ahmad referred inSauga.com to this June 2016 General Committee report.
The increase from $17.3 to $22.8 million was due to infrastructure costs, which included phase two infrastructure and landscaping work based on the final design details, according to the engineer’s estimates. Ahmad explained that this infrastructure cost could only be accurately identified through the detailed design process and not during the early stages of the project when the initial construction budget was set.
The budget increase was also due to costs associated with large infrastructure components required for this facility, as well as the installation of two pre-treatment devices to reduce future maintenance costs of the pond. The construction cost of these devices are expected to yield in $1.7 million of savings against the long-term operation and maintenance costs of the stormwater pond, according to Ahmad.
The construction plan was segmented into two major phases: phase one being the earthworks, and phase two the infrastructure and landscaping works. The main reason for this approach was to control earthworks costs. Ahmad indicated that savings of $4 million were found as a result.
Considering that massive floods in Mississauga are becoming more of a regular occurrence, there is a need now more than ever to properly absorb stormwater, or redirect it in a more manageable way that complements the surrounding environment.
But one of the main issues to keep in mind with major, big time infrastructure projects like this is anticipated cost overruns. The Matheson Pond Project is no exception.
We will keep everyone up to date on any further developments on this and any other projects.