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

Highways capital budget on track for full expenditure: MTI

Cynthia Ritchie, ADM, Infrastructure Capital Projects

Manitoba Transportation & Infrastructure has indicated 2023’s $557-million highways capital program is on track to be fully expended for that fiscal year.

MTI officials met with MHCA members, along with representatives from the engineering design sector, February 14 to review the 2023 construction program and to talk about the coming year. To view the slide deck presented at the February 14 meeting click here.

The Kinew government has committed to maintaining highways capital budgets at $500 million or greater in the coming years. In 2023, the program was set at $500 million, with $57 million in carry-over funds from previous years.

MTI’s total capital budget, across highways, water, outlet channels etc., was $622 million for 2023. Of that, $407 million was for highway paving, structures, grading and culverts and $208 million for water drains, culverts and structures.

The industry and the department are working together to improve delivery of the program, reviewing “lessons learned” from the past construction season. Industry and senior department officials are also working together on a spec review committee to assist in the adoption of specifications changes.

The February 14 meeting discussed the factors contributing to delays in the rollout of the tender ad schedules. The department routinely issues its initial schedule for the coming year in November, with updated versions published three times within the program year, typically. (The first update will be available before the end of February).

MTI noted the fall election and transition of administrations in 2023 have had to be accommodated in program planning, tender advertising and setting out the 2024 highways capital details.

The department acknowledged there has been a lag in rolling out the tenders listed on the advertising schedule presented in November. (MHCA tracks, to the extent possible, the schedules to assess the rollout and request information from the department.)

MTI’s presentation showed that from April to December 2023, 77 total bonded projects were advertised, including 21 that were not on the ad schedule. Of the total 48 highways scheduled tenders, 25 were moved (delayed) to subsequent schedules.

Industry was told the department is working hard to ensure budget-set/budget delivered and to accurately plot dates for tender advertisements. Ideally, the bulk of the program tenders would be advertised and awarded from November to February – a goal the department is working towards.

MTI said it is working to beef up resources internally. Senior officials said it has reduced the bid validity period from to 30 from 90 days and the average time to award was 15 days, an increase from the previous average of 10 days.

“Our objective is to work with and support MTI in its program delivery, which in our view is critical to economic growth and development of our province,” MHCA President & CEO Chris Lorenc said. “These are points we repeatedly make to the elected branch of government.”

A summary of industry concerns includes:

  • Budget set = budget tendered and awarded
    • MTI anticipates being able to release a robust tender ad sched by the end of February 2024
  • Live, reliable updates of the tender ad schedules
  • Early tendering and timely contract award
  • Bid validity reduced from 90 to 30 days in most contracts
  • Tendering/awarding up to 80% of MTI program by the end of February, annually
  • Following the prompt payment legislation regime related to payment for services rendered
  • Establishing a Spec Review Committee
  • Addressing lab correlation concerns
  • Lake St Martin Outlet update – ‘final’ information required by Ottawa related to environmental concerns is to be submitted by the end of this month.
    • MTI ‘hopes’ to have a late May 2024 approval
    • Project estimate is ~$640 million up from ~$520 million when first considered
    • There are discussions with Ottawa to ensure 50/50 funding of final cost

MTI noted the department intends to comply with the prompt payment rules embedded within the amended Builders Liens Act (Bill 38).

A first meeting date has now been selected for the MTI Spec Review Committee and the province is considering the public release of the transportation system condition and needs.

Chair’s Gala

November 18, 2022
RBC Convention Centre

Close to 650pp attended from both industry, government and stakeholder partners.  It was the closing of Nicole Chabot’s two year term as Chair.  Dennis Cruise of Bituminex Paving was welcomed as the new Chair.

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2022 Heavy Santa

December 16, 2022
David Livingstone School

This event was made possible through fundraising at the MHCA Chair’s Gala and Spring Mixer.

104 goodie bags and presents were prepared for the grades 1-4 students at David Livingstone School. 

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Awards Breakfast & Annual General Meeting

November 18, 2022
RBC Convention Centre

Manitoba Transportation & Infrastructure (MTI) Award Winner

  • Grading – Strilkiwski Contracting Ltd.: PTH 6 Grahamdale
  • Paving – Coco Paving o/a Russell Redi-Mix: Bituminous Reconstruction PTH 83
  • Urban Works – Coco Paving o/a Russell Redi-Mix: Bituminous Reconstruction PA 634 and Bituminous Pavement PTH 5
  • Special Projects – Mekhana Development Corp/Arnason Industries Ltd: Theresa Point Airport
  • Major Structures – D. Steele Construction: Bridge Replacement over the Red River Floodway on PTH 59N
  • Minor Structures – Moncrief Construction Ltd.: Reinforced concrete box culvert on PTH 5
  • Water Management – Brunet Ltd.: Flood response, Morris ring dike closure

200 members and guests gathered to hear greetings from Premier Heather Stefanson and the newly elected Mayor of Winnipeg, Scott Gillingham. Hon. Doyle Piwniuk, Minister, Manitoba Infrastructure, handed out the MTI Awards.

31 companies were recognized for their milestone membership commitments.

Matthew Neziol, of Bayview Construction, received the Safety Leader Award.

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