Iqaluit awards design contract for two phases of upgraded water infrastructure

Construction activities scheduled to take place between 2025 and 2028

Councillors voted to award the design contract for upgrades to Iqaluit’s water infrastructure at a council meeting Tuesday. Deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard suggested council be provided a complete projection of the costs involved moving forward. (File photo)

By Meral Jamal

This story was updated on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.

Iqaluit city council awarded a design contract to Ontario-based Arcadis Canada Inc., for the first two phases of upgrades to its water infrastructure over the next five years. 

A map showing the proposed new lake the City of Iqaluit is hoping to build as a second reservoir next to Lake Geraldine, which is the main supply of water for residents at this time. The reservoir will be connected to Unnamed Lake pipes. It is part of upgrades to the city’s water infrastructure, which received $214 million in federal funding in April 2022. (Photo by Meral Jamal)

Councillors voted unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to give a $5.8-million contract to Arcadis, to  provide design and construction support to the city.

The money will come from the $214 million in federal funding the city has received in 2022 to build a new water reservoir in Iqaluit and improve the city’s water distribution system. 

The first two phases of the upgrade will involve project definition and a preliminary design. 

Under one option being considered, the city would supplement its freshwater supply from Unnamed Lake.

Tamilore Adeleke, acting director of engineering and capital planning for the city, said the city received two proposals in its call for design consultants. She recommended awarding the contract to Arcadis because its proposal, reviewed by city staff and project management consultants, was stronger and “scoring higher for their technical submissions.”

“This is an important project for the city,” Adeleke told councillors during the meeting.

“This approval will kickstart the efforts relating to providing a long-term solution to our water supply problems.”

While council voted unanimously to hire Arcadis, deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard suggested councillors be provided with a complete projection of the costs involved in upgrading the city’s water infrastructure moving forward.

“We have no idea what anything else is going to cost throughout this project,” he said.

“I realize we probably don’t have estimates on digging a hole for our reservoir or running these pipes necessarily, but whatever estimates we do have for the other elements of this project — it would be beneficial to have those side by side with these requests when they come forward.”

“If we’re approving $18 million here and $15 million there, that adds up to $214 million pretty fast and we need to have this information at our fingertips as we’re making these decisions going forward,” Sheppard added.

Adeleke said awarding the contract to Arcadis will help predict costs and guide the city moving forward.

The City of Iqaluit will upgrade its water infrastructure over the next five years, with activities involving construction of a new reservoir and pipelines scheduled to take place between 2025 and 2028.

Questions such as whether all the new pipelines will be above or below ground, how much existing infrastructure will be replaced, the pipelines’ routes and if parts of the city currently receiving trucked water will be physically connected to the water system through a water main, were discussed during community consultations in the city last month.

Correction: This story has been updated from an earlier version to correct the value of the contract Iqaluit council gave to Arcadis and to correct the scope of the work.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Jack on

    “We have no idea what anything else is going to cost throughout this project,” Aren’t we getting a little tired of how projects get started at the city/GN, I’m not sure how the planning is done but this really doesn’t sounds so good when contracts are being awarded.

    I am hoping they will be better prepared and have some studies in place before awarding such big contracts that will affect our infrastructure.

  2. Posted by Here we go again!! on

    Someone better educate this southern based company on the realities of the region before we end up with another failed project!! Sorry to say but given the track record of both the city and southern firms over the past 30+ years I don’t have much faith in success. All I see is more money going up in smoke while the rate payers fit the bill!!

    • Posted by Tell us more? on

      A couple examples would be great.

      • Posted by A couple maybe one more on

        There are many to choose from, the sewage treatment plant, that thing took many years to be figured out, cost overruns and different experts for a decade or so, the new cemetery, after a couple failed sites and a lot of money spent with southern consultants they finally after the third try picked the current site in Apex.
        For future reference the new dump site that is in the plans, not a landfill as it has been downgraded several times to a dump. No real recycling, no sorting, no real dump water contaminants containment , no incinerator. Our failing utilidor system, water crisis, list goes on.

      • Posted by Here we go again!! on

        I’ll start with the most recent, the city wide shut down of the utilidor system in February!! Would you like me to continue??

  3. Posted by John on

    will the pipes be buried or raised? I ask as the snowmobile trail to Tassiluk and beyond are in the path of the pipes

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