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July 5, 2019

Delays prior to digging a concern for Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association

As reported on, over the last few weeks multiple members of the Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association have voiced concern over lengthy wait times to receive underground locates required to perform excavations on their work sites. These delays are causing significant hardships for those contractors impacted.

Adam Pinder, Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association explained, “Contractors rely on receiving locates in a timely fashion after they are requested.

The wait time should be no longer than five days unless agreed to by the locator and contractor. We’ve heard of instances where locates are still not fulfilled three to four weeks after the request. This type of wait time is unacceptable.”

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As a result, contractors have been forced to change their work plans and resource other projects they are able to work on. When a contractor is forced to drastically alter their schedule it also impacts their cash flow. This problem has created an unnecessary hardship for projects that are already on tight timelines. The contractor is ultimately responsible to ensure the job is done on time and some contracts impose penalties if the work is not completed by a certain date.

While discouraged with the situation, Pinder hopes that the issue is behind us and that this will no longer be a problem going forward.

“I was really surprised that this issue even arose, the system had been working very well in the area up until recently. Our members want to work safely and follow their obligations, the Ontario one call system and receiving timely locates is vital to ensuring excavations are performed safely without risking harm to the workers or the general public. I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to expect them to wait four weeks for that information.”

The association has been in touch with Ontario One Call and spoken with some of the local utility owners.

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