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Delay in Jasper Place Transit Centre renewal leaves Edmonton customers out in cold

Delay in Edmonton transit centre project sparks questions
WATCH: Global News has learned a delay in a city project is literally leaving Edmontonians out in the cold. The Jasper Place Transit Cetnre renewal was supposed to take less than a year. As Vinesh Pratap reports, it's now scheduled to open March 2020.

On a crisp, late fall morning, ETS customer Dan waits for his bus at the Jasper Place Transit Centre.

“There’s no where to warm up until the bus gets here. You’re freezing,” explains Dan, as he motions over to the transit centre, which has been fenced off for renewal work since the spring of 2018.

“That thing is taking longer to complete than, I’m sure, Rogers Place took.”

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The $5.6-million renewal was supposed to be complete by the end of 2018, but the original schedule was upended after the city terminated the contract with the initial contractor; a move described as a rare step.

The city indicates in November 2018 it found only 30 per cent of the work was complete.

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As for the reasons for the delay?

“Unfortunately, those are the details I can’t really get into because of the conditions of the termination and dispute resolution process,” explained Robb Heit with the City of Edmonton.

“We had seen a situation where there was bad soils and site conditions.”

The original contractor is speaking out, claiming issues were identified early in construction, with the company seeking “$85,000 to fix this soil.”

“We had the testing, we had shown that there were issues with the soil and… it was going to cost this money to fix,” said Jeremy McConnell, the first contractor on the project.

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According to the city “there is no project where we have 100 per cent surety on what’s underground.”

Heit adds: “We do our testing and we do our analysis of those tests and we provide that information to the contractors.”

The site sat idle for about nine months before a new contractor resumed work this past summer; the project is expected to be complete by March 2020.

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The area’s councillor, Andrew Knack, says “there’s been no requests for new budget.”

Whatever the back and forth, bus rider Dan is fed up with waiting out in the elements; he just wants the work complete.

“It don’t have to be fancy, just heat would be nice.”