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WHITEHORSE – On May 5, the Government of Yukon awarded the contract for the construction of a new Nisutlin Bay Bridge. The value of the contract is $160 million. This is a staggering $135 million over the original budget for the project.
On April 30, 2019, the former Minister of Highways and Public Works told the Legislative Assembly that the government had budgeted roughly $25 million for the new bridge and that the tender would go out in 2020, with the project completed in 2023.
“We are in the early stages of this process, but we anticipate that the tender will go out in 2020 with the aim to complete the project by the end of 2023. The project is identified in our five-year capital plan — the first five-year capital plan the Government of Yukon has ever tabled — and the price tag is somewhat north of $25 million.” – Minister Richard Mostyn, April 30, 2019, Hansard.
The 2022 Government of Yukon Budget tabled just two months ago admitted that this project was significantly over budget and allocated up to $87 million for it. At the time, the Yukon Party Official Opposition had flagged concerns with the number of projects going over budget because the Liberals had not accounted for inflation in their budget, contrary to claims by the Premier.
This raises the question if the Liberals had actually accounted for inflation, why have they gone so massively over budget on this project just two months after the tabling of an almost $2 billion budget and how does this impact other projects moving forward?