Middletown Crossing project delayed

Sparwood to push Highway 3/43 project to 2016 while waiting for grant approval.

Construction on Sparwood’s Middletown Crossing has been delayed until 2016 as the district waits on approval for a grant.

The crossing, also known as the Highway 3/43 Intersection Improvements Project, is subject to an $8.6 million grant under the Small Communities fund.

Construction was originally meant to start this spring, following the project being tendered and started by a chosen contractor. However, a provincial grant reviewer has advised Sparwood that decisions on the grants may not be received until Fall 2015.

“In order to put that project out for tender and get the best pricing which is usually early in the construction season [January and/or February], we are recommending to delay it until 2016 to get best competitive pricing,” said Director of Engineering Danny Dwyer. “If that grant for some reason is turned down then we have to rework that project and strip out a number of components in order to fit into our budget,” he added.

Sparwood Mayor Cal McDougall said the delay was “very unfortunate but a sign of the economic times.”

By choosing to delay the project, the district will now have to face renegotiations with Joy Global and Teck to extend both companies current land sales agreements with the project.

The new completion date has now been slated for October 31, 2016.