The municipality has hired an engineering consultant firm from Squamish to oversee one of the largest road-paving projects ever undertaken in the resort in one summer.
As much as three times the road paving work will take place beginning in late May, as the municipality embarks upon a new road-paving schedule, which will see big asphalt projects done every three years, with smaller projects in between.
When it first approved the three-year road schedule, the municipality estimated that it would spend $1.6 million every three years, including a $50,000 consultants fee, and $150,000 in the years in between, rather than spend roughly $650,000 annually.
"The RMOW has hired an engineering company to help with the tender process and provide quality assurance during the construction work, since RMOW crews will not be able to monitor this larger scope of work on their own," wrote the municipal communications department in an email in a response to questions about the tender.
"This is standard on most RMOW construction projects and will be a good time to bring RMOW road reconstruction works up to a higher standard of quality assurance.
The RMOW chose ISL Engineering and Land Services in response to a recent Request for Proposals.
ISL will now prepare tender documents for the roadwork. Until just recently, the paving program in Whistler was done exclusively by the local company, Alpine Paving.
The work, done yearly without going to tender, was allowed under the municipality's procurement policy. The RMOW can negotiate with a sole source if there are no other providers available and no substitute.
In 2012, under council's direction, the RMOW put a requirement into the tendering document that any asphalt used for municipal work must come from a plant three kilometres away from a residential neighbourhood, effectively cutting out the Whistler plant, which council has been trying to move out of the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood since the Olympic Games.
A further change came last year from the council table when it approved the three-year road rehabilitation program.
"The change is expected to save money due to increased competition (more asphalt companies will be interested in doing the larger scope of work), as well as the fact that the asphalt companies will be able to offer lower unit rates due to the larger volume of work," said the RMOW.
ISL will have full project supervision including quality control and assurance.