The consortium of construction firms building the new Turcot Interchange will be paid hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs, but Transport Quebec said the project will still come in on budget.

More than $300 million will be paid to KPH Turcot, with nearly half of that due to costs incurred by unforeseen delays. Among those delays are last summer’s crane operators’ strike and the discovery during the work of two archeologically significant sites.

Other extra costs include additional work done by the consortium beyond what was stated in their contract, as well as costs associated with the removal of contaminated soil, of which there was more than initially thought.

The initial budget in KPH Turcot’s budget was $1.57 billion, part of the $3.67 billion total budget for the Turcot reconstruction. Transport Quebec spokesperson Martin Girard said the money was coming from a contingency fund that is part of the overall budget.

Girard declined to say how much money is in the contingency fund, saying keeping that number a secret gives the ministry a competitive advantage should it need to negotiate any new contracts for the Turcot.

"Before the project started the ministry estimated what kind of risks can happen," he said. "When we estimate the risks, we are planning and saving money that is already in the overall budget to cover those risks when they happen."

He admitted that while $300 million sounds like a lot of money, extra costs were inevitable with a project so large.

“Yes, it’s a lot of money,” he said. “The ministry evaluates what kind of risk can happen, but remember: it’s a project that started more than four years ago. It’s a long-term project. Some unexpected things will happen during a project that lasts at least five years.”

Girard said work on the Turcot currently stands at 83 per cent complete and is set to be finished on time.