Edmonton

Councillors want more accountability on road projects

Edmonton councillors took city staff to task Monday over poor planning of road projects.

Edmonton councillors took city staff to task Monday over poor planning of road projects.

The city auditor criticized Edmonton's roads design and construction branch earlier this month for poor cost-estimating practices and exaggerated completion timelines.

"When I read this, I felt a little bit sick thinking that we were in a sense deceiving the citizens of Edmonton in respect to many of the projects that we do," said Coun. Jane Batty.

The auditor also slammed the city's adjusting of cost estimates during construction, pointing the Quesnell bridge renovation which saw the cost estimate double to $200 million before being scaled back.

 "We're potentially entering into $2.5 billion projects around LRT with a plus or minus of 70 per cent," said Coun. Karen Leibovici. "It's just mind boggling that we would be doing that as opposed to starting to say this is what the realistic costs are."

City staff assure councillors that in the future there will be more details about the projects as well as more scrutiny and accountability.

The discussion continues through Monday afternoon.

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