MHCA acknowledges it is located on Treaty One land and the homeland of the Metis Nation

Bell commits to “dramatic” improvement in locates response in 2022

Bell MTS, a division of Bell Canada, has assured the Manitoba Common Ground Alliance it has taken steps that will see completion of locates requests within acceptable timeframes in the coming construction season.

“We acknowledge that the 2021 construction season was especially challenging for us, and we were often unable to deliver locates in a timeframe in accordance with our standards,” says the April 26 letter, sent by Ryan Klassen, Vice Chair, Bell MTS & Western Canada.

“As you know, we have taken action to clear the backlog and implement new processes which will dramatically improve our delivery times. With a significant increase recently made to our available capacity there is currently no backlog, and we are confident that we will be able to complete our locates within acceptable timeframes during the 2022 construction season and going forward.

“We have implemented an internal reporting process with executive oversight to monitor our progress.”

Klassen notes Bell MTS will continue to work with the Manitoba Common Ground Association (MCGA) and that “cooperation from members on items such as load forecasting and a process for prioritization of due dates would help ensure that all locates can be completed prior to excavation dates.”

The Bell MTS was in response to an April 14 letter from MCGA, signed by MHCA, Construction Association of Rural Manitoba, Manitoba Home Builders’ Association and Winnipeg Construction Association.

The MCGA had stressed that, failing timely and accurate locate completions in 2022, it might approach the provincial government “for legislative remedies in the form of mandated minimum locate-completion times.”

Lorenc said the reply from Bell MTS is a sign of progress and reason to expect 2022’s construction season will see marked improvement.

“We have now on record the request for and commitment to address timely locates. Hopefully the commitments given materialize in the field.”

Locate responses are long in the cities, but rural contractors have expressed frustration with response times that are extraordinarily long.

“We will continue, through MCGA, to work on this issue because extended locate completion times can delay construction projects to the point where contractors’ completion deadlines are impinged upon,” Lorenc said.

“That’s costly to the industry, affects other projects under construction and it is a disservice to the community near those construction sites.”