Price tag for St. Boniface walkway nearly doubles in 9 months

The cost of building a pedestrian walkway along the Red River in St. Boniface has nearly doubled nine months after city council approved the project.

Tache Promenade to cost $10M, up from $5.2M projection approved by council in December

A city planning document shows the "treetop lookout" of Tache Promenade, once derided by opponents as a "selfie spot." (City of Winnipeg)

The cost of building a pedestrian walkway along the Red River in St. Boniface has nearly doubled nine months after city council approved a project championed by Coun. Matt Allard.

In December, council approved a capital budget that included $5.2 million worth of funding for the Tache Promenade, a project championed by St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard. It includes a pedestrian walkway on the east bank of the Red, public art and a lookout tower once derided by project opponents as a "selfie spot."

A report published by the city on Thursday says the project will now cost $10 million, thanks to a more accurate construction estimate as well as $1.5 million worth of riverbank stabilization work the city wasn't aware it needed to conduct.

Roadwork, changes to street lighting and engineering also weren't taken into account, along with overhead costs and a contingency allowance, according to the report, which will come before council's public works committee on Monday.

The report also notes $300,000 the city believed it would receive for the project is no longer on  the table. The city erroneously expected $1.1 million worth of funding from the Winnipeg Foundation when the philanthropic organization only made a flat $1-million commitment. Another $200,000 worth of funding from the Winnipeg Arts Council is no longer available because the agency's 2017 public-art program has expired.

Councillors on the public works committee — Allard, Marty Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) and Jeff Browaty (Old Kildonan) — are now being asked to approve an additional $5.2 million for the project next year.

This would draw on money from the city's riverbank stabilization program, leftover cash from the completion of Disraeli Freeway reconstruction, Canada 150 funding, the city's "building communities" initiative and money from a general public works account.

Pending council approval, the project will be finished in the fall of 2018, public works engineering manager Brad Neirinck states in the report.


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