Rising construction costs force City of Greater Geraldton to do Cathedral Ave-Sanford St roundabout job

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Works have already started at the corner of Sanford Street and Cathedral Avenue.
Camera IconWorks have already started at the corner of Sanford Street and Cathedral Avenue. Credit: Geoff Vivian/The Geraldton Guardian, Geoff Vivian

Civil construction costs have jumped so high that the City of Greater Geraldton council has voted to reject a construction tender for the Cathedral Avenue and Sanford Street roundabout and do the job in-house instead.

Councillors also voted to use the money saved to build new footpaths, which is allowed under the terms of the $3.1 million Federal grant the City had been allocated.

Cr Sally Elphick said as a member of the Wonthella Progress Association she had helped lobby for footpaths since 2004.

“I’m really happy to see that Wonthella, after years of fighting to get footpaths, is actually going to have a heap done,” she said.

“Footpaths are really all it needs.”

Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was becoming as hard for councils to get civil contractors as it was during the 2012 mining boom.

“Our City simply can’t find contractors because of the amount of stimulus money and mining uptick money thrown around,” he said.

As a result he said contractors were charging top dollar for the jobs they took on and the $23.1 million Beresford Foreshore enhancement project completed in 2018 would probably cost twice as much if it was started today.

At the time, Mr Van Styn said the contractor had agreed to do the foreshore job at a reduced rate to keep skilled workers employed and be ready for the next boom.

The motion was moved by Cr Bob Hall, seconded by Cr Butch Parker and passed unanimously at Tuesday’s council meeting.

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