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Construction to resume on North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant with $3.86B price tag

Construction to resume on North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant with $3.86B price tag
METRO VANCOUVER - An aerial view of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant Program, which Metro Vancouver announced will soon resume construction after a comprehensive review and cost estimate.

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – Construction of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant Program in North Vancouver will begin again after a comprehensive review by a Metro Vancouver Board task force and with a new multibillion-dollar price tag.

The task force undertook a review of the overall program and work by staff to develop an updated estimate of the cost to complete the program including the plant, the conveyance project and preliminary design for decommissioning the old Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant, a Metro Vancouver release said.

Three separate cost estimates were developed that took into account market conditions, inflation, interest rates and hiring a new contractor. Following the analysis Metro Vancouver concluded the cost to deliver the program will be $3.86 billion with construction of the treatment plant expected to be substantially complete in 2030. 

“This program is not optional: Building a new wastewater treatment plant that provides a higher level of treatment is essential to comply with federal regulations, and it is absolutely critical that the facility is built to ensure human health and the environment are protected well into the future,” said Metro Vancouver board of directors chair George Harvie in a statement.

“We struck a task force to carefully and thoroughly explore all of the options available to us, and we believe that we now have a viable path forward.”

In 2021, Metro Vancouver began the process of terminating its contract with Acciona Wastewater Solutions Ltd., the company responsible for designing and building the new treatment plant.

“Since then, Metro Vancouver has worked diligently to develop a plan to complete the program and find solutions for design and construction deficiencies,” the release said.

“The reality is the cost to deliver the program has changed significantly since its initial estimate 13 years ago. In updating the cost estimate, Metro Vancouver took into consideration the many large infrastructure projects in the market today, which are all competing for resources; the cumulative effect of inflation of construction and labour costs; and the significant work that was needed to address design and construction deficiencies,” explained Metro Vancouver commissioner and CEO Jerry Dobrovolny.

“We are acutely aware of concerns around how this cost may impact the property taxes and utility rates of residents on the North Shore in particular. We are working on a long-term financial plan to better illustrate to the provincial and federal governments why our region needs financial support to deliver infrastructure projects such as these.”

Over the coming months, Metro Vancouver will confirm a contract to complete plant construction. While that work is in progress, construction manager PCL will continue early works, and AECOM will complete the plant design, the release said.

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