Engineering Department Accelerating Projects While Reducing Costs and Impact to the Public

Piloting a new form of bidding on contracts

January 28, 2021

160th street widening

The City of Surrey’s Engineering department has implemented a number of initiatives in 2020 to help reduce costs, accelerate the completion of projects and minimize the impact on the public. The various actions taken include the following:

  • Permitting temporary road closures during construction
  • Avoiding relocating third-party utilities (BC Hydro, Telus, FortisBC, etc.)
  • Innovative contracting techniques

The widening of 160 Street from 26 Avenue to 32 Avenue is a prime example of how temporary road closures during construction proved to be beneficial. This project was completed 20% ahead of schedule, resulting in a 10% financial savings. The expedited construction schedule achieved by the road closure also improved safety to workers and the travelling public, while reducing overall congestion in the construction zone. Based on the success of this project, Engineering staff will continue to evaluate each project planned for construction in 2021.

Capital infrastructure projects can, at times, trigger relocations for external utilities, such as BC Hydro, Telus and FortisBC utilities. The City’s road widening projects typically require that BC Hydro power poles be relocated, which can potentially result in delay risks to Capital projects. To prevent such delays, the City tested a new initiative to commence the relocation of utility poles in advance of the road widenings, and this approach was successfully implemented on the 64 Avenue road widening between 184 Street and Fraser Highway.

Also, in 2020, Engineering staff piloted a new form of bidding on contracts that was based not only on the cost, but also the time it would take to complete the project. This form of bidding is commonly called “A+B Bidding,” whereby contractors bid on the time and dollar amount to complete a project. The contract is then awarded to the lowest combination of time and cost.

The City piloted this form of bidding on the 64 Avenue road widening project between 184 Street and Fraser Highway, and realized a 30% reduction in the project duration, completing four months ahead of schedule.

Given the success of A+B Bidding on reducing project duration, A+B Bidding will be applied on two projects with significant impacts to motorists on arterial roads: 32 Avenue road widening between 154 Street, and 160 Street and 80 Avenue road widening between 132 Street and King George Boulevard.

For more information, read the full report to Council.