Construction continues on the Brownsey Boulevard roundabout.

Roundabout project goes over budget

Shortfall will be covered with funds allocated for a cancelled Grant Road project

Sooke’s town centre construction project has gone over budget by $594,965, district council heard last week.

But municipal taxpayers won’t be on the hook. The shortfall will be covered with funds allocated for a cancelled road project.

Earlier this year, the district entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to build a roundabout, which fuses Sooke Road, Brownsey Boulevard and Evergreen Centre into one loop.

The project also includes a complete revamp of Sooke Road between Otter Point and Church roads that includes new sidewalks, crosswalks, street lighting, curbs, bike lanes and bus shelters, a total of $9.1 million of work.

There were unexpected findings during the excavation portion of the project including redundant items such as pipes leading to nowhere and abandoned utilities, said municipal engineer Elisabeth Nelson.

There were also some design changes initiated by the district and redesigns of bus turnouts in front of 6661 and 6670 Sooke Rd.

Before district incorporation in 1999, much of the work on Sooke infrastructure was handled by the Capital Regional District or the Ministry of Highways.

“We’ve got 40 to 50 years of history underground and really nobody knew what the heck was under there,” said Coun. Rick Kasper.

“It’s been an ongoing problem over the years. People assumed there were pipes under there, but they didn’t hook up to anything.”

Finance director Michael Dillabaugh said there will be no impact on this year’s taxes and it won’t be carry forwarded into next year.

The district will cover off the additional expenses by using reserve funds and taxes allocated for phase II of Grant Road project.

No price contingency was built into the project, which Dillabaugh called an oversight.

A ministry spokesperson said only the municipal project is over-budget.

The town centre project is expected to be completed by mid-November.