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Contract awarded for downtown intersection work

The Main, Hawthorne and West street intersection upgrade work will take place this spring.
The Main, Hawthorne and West street intersection upgrade work will take place this spring. - FILE

ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Antigonish Town Council announced B.D. Clifton Contracting Ltd. has been awarded the tender for the Hawthorne and Main streets intersection upgrades.

At a special council meeting Feb, 4, council approved the project to be completed by B.D. Clifton Contracting Ltd. at a cost of $560,115 plus tax.

After reviewing the three-tender submission, B.D. Clifton Contracting was determined to be the lowest bid submitted. The lowest bid was then further assessed for various cost saving items, within the scope of work, and, as a result, B.D. Clifton Contracting Ltd. worked with town staff to revise their bid to meet the preliminary budgeting requirements for council’s final review and approval.

Following council’s regular monthly public meeting last month, Mayor Laurie Boucher insisted that, despite the bids coming back higher than anticipated, this is still the right time for the town to award and have the work done.

“When we look at some of the revenue we’re getting from the windmill farm - from AREA (Alternative Resource Energy Authority), and the fact we did forward $400,000 from last year so the impact is not as bad this year, this would be the time to do it,” Boucher said, following the Jan. 21 meeting.

“Council really feels this is the right thing to do and we’re supporting staff on this. What has been presented to date has been very thorough, and we really do believe it will improve the traffic flow in that area of Main Street.”

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The breakdown of costs associated with bid and the scope of work approved by council includes; traffic light system - $186,000, asphalt work - $175,000, sidewalk work - $93,000, storm sewer - $75,000, and water utility - $31,000.

 A timeline for the project has the construction work scheduled to begin in May, following spring convocation at St. F.X., and wrapped up before the Antigonish Highland Games in July.

“Staff from the town met with business owners who will be directly impacted by the work being done in this area of Main and Hawthorne streets and timelines were adjusted to address any concerns,” Jeff Lawrence, Chief Administrative Officer with the town, said.

“Once complete, this project will clarify main route directions feeding into Main Street, upgrade our existing infrastructure, and increase pedestrian and driver safety which has been an ongoing concern in this area of town.”

The intersection updates will include; new traffic lights, lane widening that will accommodate tractor trailers, service upgrades including a new fire hydrant in front of Whidden Campground, a new traffic island, new sidewalk, shorter cross-walks, raised curb work, and asphalt servicing.

“The upgrades to this intersection will greatly improve the traffic flow in this area of Main Street, increasing efficiency and safety for motorists entering and leaving the downtown core of Antigonish. Pedestrians are also ensured a safer route due to shorter cross walks and better signage to indicate right of ways and reduced traffic congestion,” Lawrence added.

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