The federal government is working with bidding companies to try to lower the cost of the Randle Reef environmental remediation project, Hamilton’s mayor says.

Environment Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada are negotiating with the bidders, and looking at how they can tweak project details to move the project along as quickly as possible, said Mayor Bob Bratina, who met with federal government officials on the weekend.

Randle Reef is Canada’s largest coal tar contamination site, located off shore from U.S. Steel. Money is in place for the $138.9-million project, but the project is stalled because all of the bids came in over budget.

But the federal government will meet with bidders in July to see how to bring down the bids and get the project started before the end of the year, Bratina said. 

The project involves boxing off a large mass of coal tar contamination with a steel containment facility. The federal and provincial governments, City of Hamilton, City of Burlington, Halton Region and U.S. Steel are all contributing.

Public Works and Government Services Canada is not releasing details to “protect the integrity of the tender process," it says.

More to come.