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Construction schedule for Celebration Plaza ‘compressed’

Project’s last two requests for proposal currently out for tender

Work continues on the future Whistler Celebration Plaza, with the project's last two requests for proposal currently out to tender.

One RFP for the plaza - which will be turned into an official Olympic venue during the 2010 Winter Games - is for installation and connection of 20 street lights and to finalize the plaza's electrical work. The job must be done by the end of October.

The municipality is accepting tenders until 2 p.m. Sept. 4.

The second RFP is for a company to prepare and install the sub-base portion of the foundation, along with catch basins and concrete unit pavers, by Oct. 12. The municipality is accepting tenders until 2 p.m. on Sept. 4.

This week, Martin Pardoe, manager of parks and planning for the municipality, said he is not worried about the tight deadlines.

"We have been in discussions with a number of different trade contractors who have been interested in bidding on the project," said Pardoe. "And they have been contacting us rather than us contact them."

While both RFPs were only advertised in the local papers for the first time last week, they have been posted online at the municipality's website, , since the middle of August.

"From our perspective, looking at the scope of work that needs to be done, the timeline is adequate," said Pardoe, although he added: "Depending on who bids on the projects and what their availability is, it may pose some challenges."

The Whistler Celebration Plaza will be handed over to the Olympic organizing committee this autumn. During the Winter Olympics and Paralympics the plaza will be used to host nightly medal ceremonies. It will also be the sight of concerts and the official closing ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in March.

Pardoe added that while the $13.6 million project remains on budget, construction has fallen slightly behind schedule.

"It is a little bit compressed," said Pardoe about the latest deadlines.

One of the reasons the timeline is tighter than originally anticipated is because some of the utility services in the sidewalk area of Blackcomb Way are actually in different locations than the municipality has mapped out in their records.

"Fine tuning where the locating of all the various transformers and full boxes need to go on site so that it doesn't impede VANOC and also works for our long-term plans requires a lot of coordination and is taking longer than we initially anticipated," Pardoe stated.

Pardoe added that completing construction work during October instead of September, however, might work to the municipality's benefit since the village will be less busy at that time.