Junction upgrade budget blowout concerns for City of Wanneroo

Junction upgrade budget blowout concerns for City of Wanneroo

A REQUEST for more funds for a completed junction upgrade caused concern for City of Wanneroo councillors last week.

At the November 3 briefing session, the City’s assets director Harminder Singh said proposed changes to the capital works budget included giving the City of Swan $110,000 for traffic signals at the Alexander Drive/Illawarra Crescent junction.

Mr Singh said that in 2012, both councils committed to paying $55,000 each for the signals project, which was then expected to cost $330,000.

He said that project, on the border of Alexander Heights and Ballajura, then received federal Black Spot funding, which covered the full cost, so municipal funds were no longer required.

But Mr Singh said the City of Swan contacted Wanneroo in May because the project cost had escalated to more than $550,000 and asked it to contribute $110,000.

Cr Brett Treby said it was “deplorable” that their neighbour’s project was “60 per cent under-scoped and under-budget”.

Asked by Cr Domenic Zappa what due diligence had been done and if there was more information, Mr Singh said staff received a breakdown of costs but not the reasons for it, which he would request.

Asked why the project had overrun the budget, Mr Singh said Swan provided a breakdown of extra costs, including for traffic signals, signage, line-marking and civil works.

He said the bulk of that excess – $180,000 – was for relocating services.

Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the project, completed in June, had cost $583,000 altogether and his City was paying $143,000.

“The project also required the relocation of a Telstra pit, which wasn’t included in the original estimate,” he said.

“The actual costs to install the traffic signals and new street lights were higher than what was estimated.

“Alexander Drive is a shared boundary road between the cities of Swan and Wanneroo, so this was a joint project.

“Although initiated by a councillor from the City of Wanneroo, they requested that the City of Swan undertake the construction.”

Mr Foley said Swan had requested funds from Main Roads WA, but did not receive any.

Wanneroo councillors will consider approving it, along with several other budget variations – most a result of different grant totals to those expected – at their meeting tonight.