Scathing report on Airport Parkway bridge tabled
City manager has authority to fire staff over troubled project, city lawyer says
Mayor Jim Watson called the long-delayed pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Airport Parkway an embarrassment to the City of Ottawa as a scathing report about the troubled project was tabled at the Finance and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday.
"There will be procedural changes required, there will be policy changes required and, most crucially, there will be mindset changes required," Watson said. "The city needs to plan, measure and exert control each step of the way in every project so that we avoid these types of problems in the future."
The SEG Management Consultants report detailed project "deficiencies," which resulted in a schedule delay of three years, and saw the cost balloon from $6.9 million to $11.55 million. The bridge is now expected to be completed in late 2014.
The independent firm was hired to do a third-party review of the city's project management of the bridge. The review could find no document to assess the accountability of any of the managers and no performance indicators to monitor the delivery of the project.
A city lawyer advised the committee before the discussion about the bridge report that the city manager has the authority to discipline — even fire staff — over the mismanagement of the project. City manager Kent Kirkpatrick said the time for individual discipline and accountability will come later — after a review of the report.