The Chamber’s Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project (Canada 150) Steering Committee is pleased to be issuing a multi-faceted call for tenders for several components of the renovations to the parks and pathways. If you have a business that’s involved in construction, paving, landscaping, stonework or any of the related trades, please visit the Chamber’s website (www.cwlpc.ca) and put in a bid! This opportunity will be more than just another job – it’s a chance to contribute to the character, beauty and vitality of La Pêche!

The Steering Committee looks forward to finally getting a few “shovels in the ground” this fall.  The beginning of construction will represent a major milestone in the progress of the project, but rest assured there has been a great deal of activity going on behind the scenes over the past 10 months. A project of this magnitude requires endless planning and paperwork – in fact 75% of the work involved in pulling off an infrastructure project like this is done on paper: surveys, ecological studies, geotechnical studies, engineering studies, building permits, design revisions, the development of endless RFPs and tenders, contract-letting, hiring, press releases, reports to funders and partners, preparing and revising budget, managing invoices and funds,  and the very lengthy process of acquiring the environmental authorizations necessary to undertake a project located in the “littoral zone” of a river. The Steering Committee has already met over 25 times, drank gallons of tea and lemonade and generated enough emails, phone calls and documents to last us a lifetime.

The Project is in good shape at present but we have faced some significant setbacks and challenges. The exercise in democracy around the municipality’s borrowing bills last winter held up the funding for a full three months – this on a project already rife with tight deadlines – effectively delaying the ability of the Committee to issue any contracts over the winter. This had a domino effect that we’ve been working hard to overcome and has thankfully been somewhat mitigated by Economic Development Canada’s agreement to delay the deadline for Project completion from Decembers 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Still, this means by the time we were able to issue RFPs and contracts for all the studies and other engineering work necessary to finalize the design and support the application for environmental authorization (a 75-day process in itself once the application is submitted), it will result in much of the construction and landscaping work being done in the fall and possibly into winter.  Thankfully, according to the experts, it is all still do-able!

To date, completing the Boardwalk – unquestionably the “pièce de resistance” of the project – remains the biggest challenge. By the time the Project funding was released in late spring and we could issue an RFP for the engineering work, drawings and stamps required for the environmental authorization for that structure and its construction, every engineering company in the region capable of taking this on was fully booked. We are now working a new angle that is showing promise and hope to have some good news for you on this shortly. One way or another, we will get this built!

So it’s full steam ahead! Stand by for some action on the waterfront by late September and please have a look at the Chamber website now to see if there is a contract in this package that might be right for you.

We’ll be back to you with more news shortly!

The Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber Project Steering Committee

Liane Benoit – Chair

Meredith Brown – Engineer

Shelley Crabtree – Communications Officer

Linda Dougherty – Finance Officer

Claude Giroux – Councillor for Wakefield

Ivan Hale – Board member, Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber

Liam Hale – Engineer

Heidi Honegger – Secretary

David McKenzie – Community Outreach