Big Lakes County council has awarded a tender to reclaim a gravel pit even though the lowest bid was over-budget.

At its meeting Sept. 27, council awarded the tender for the gravel pit reclamation at the site known as Little Smoky Campsite Pit to the lowest qualified bidder.

Council received 12 bids that ranged from $419,777 to $1,646,790.

Gravel was extracted from the county-owned land on NE-1-74-20-W5 and Crown land on SE-12-74-20-W5, says Kevin Cymbaluk, director of public works.

“All bids were over-budget,” Cymbaluk says.

The project is estimated at $300,000 for the contract work and $50,000 for engineering, he notes.

He planned to review the bids to determine the lowest qualified bidder.

“Work will begin this fall,” Cymbaluk says.

“If not completed due to weather, then the contractor will be allowed to complete the work by July 31, 2024.”

Work is expected to take about one month.

Cymbaluk recom- mended council reject all bids and re-tender the project early in 2024 now that all approvals, survey information and tender documents are in place.

“There seems to have been a lack of clarity in the bid package regarding specific materials, handling and placement requirements,” Cym- baluk says.

“The large spread in bids demonstrates that bidders were not clear on expectations.”

A mandatory site meeting and additional drawings would provide better information to bidders, he says.

“The site is now depleted,” Cymbaluk says.

“Reclamation of the pit is required under the 2011 Conservation and Reclamation Business Plan and Alberta Environment and Protected Areas approvals.”

To meet reclamation requirements, the contractor will remove about 85,000 cubic metres of overburden, 5,000 cubic metre s of sub-soil and 12,500 cubic metres of topsoil.

Overburden is the soil between the topsoil and the gravel that can’t be used to produce aggregate, Cymbaluk says.

An engineering firmed was retained to provide full engineering service for the major reclamation project.

Once the project is completed, it is to be monitored for three years by Alberta Environment and Protected Areas, Cymbaluk says.

Richard Froese

This item copyrighted by / South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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