Iqaluit awards design contract for two phases of upgraded water infrastructure
Construction activities scheduled to take place between 2025 and 2028
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.
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.