County of Wetaskiwin kept busy over 2017 summer construction season

Flood damaged bridges to be repaired come autumn

It has been a busy and fruitful 2017 summer construction season for the County of Wetaskiwin.

Major summer projects for general public works operations have included the Gwynne landslide and lime application to three select roads in divisions one, two and five.

Repairs at the Ambler Ridge landslide sight in Gwynne have been ongoing over the spring and summer.

“Later in August, it is planned to install perforated interceptor drains along the north ditch, and perpendicular to the slide leading to a daylight discharge at King Street,” said Neil Powell, director of public works, in an Aug. 28 email to the Pipestone Flyer.

Once the the drainage system installed is seemed effective, backfill of the embankment and roadway can start.

County crews were called to apply lime to, “very poor roads with black soil as a prevalent subgrade.”

Powell says the results of the application have been positive. The county will continue to observe the areas to ensure the procedure holds up and was cost-effective.

“The true test will (be the) spring of 2018, where the effectiveness of the lime application will be further evaluated,” said Powell.

There were also multiple large-scale water and sewer projects that took place over the course of the summer.

“The Alder Flats lagoon expansion is progressing fairly well with excavation of the new storage pond nearing completion. Installation of some of the structural components will commence shortly thereafter,” said Powell.

The instillation of the county’s internal sewage collection system and force main at Viola Beach and Village Lane Condos has been completed. It is estimated sewer services for the two communities will be up and running by mid-October.

Remaining work to be completed includes the installation of individual grinder pumps at each residence. Once the grinder pumps are in place sewage services can commence.

Work is underway for the two bridges severely damaged by flooding that impacted areas at the west end of the county during the 2016 summer.

Both bridge replacement projects were awarded to Formula Alberta Ltd.

The bridge along Township Road 472 has was approved with funding to a maximum project cost of $1.17 million, including engineering, construction costs and contingencies.

Funds for the project are coming from several areas, including $232,980 from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, $110,020 from Bridge Reserves and an estimated $557,000 through other grant programs, notably application under the Disaster Recovery Program.

“This work is planned to commence in September-October, 2017,” said Powell.

The bridge along Township Road 470 was approved with a maximum project budget of $1.8 million, including engineering, construction costs and contingencies. The anticipated completion date of the work is mid-October of this year.

Grant funding can be instrumental in municipal projects and at times the entire possibility of a proposed project comes down to grants.

In 2017 the County of Wetaskiwin received: $3,440,498 in Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding $587,731 in Federal Gas Tax funding, $325,058 in Small Communities funding; and four county projects — access to Pigeon Lake Provincial Park paving, Rose Creek Road chip seal, Bridge File 78835 bridge replacement and Bridge File 6769 culvert replacement — fell under Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program funding.

County crews also worked on several road construction projects over the summer, including: a base and pave on Yeoford, estimated completion time is the week of Sept. 11; the paving, line-painting and guardrail installation project along Provincial Park Road, the final inspection took place Aug. 3 with no deficiencies; roadwork scheduled for Rose Creek Road has been given a late September start date.

Clay capping, ditching, grading, and work on a slideslope failure was also part of the summer lineup.

While the summer may have seemed wet and windy, with sporadic hail storms, Powell says the weather had little effect on the county’s projects.

“Due to reasonably good weather this season, projects are proceeding well. Some of the third party contractors are experiencing scheduling delays due to their sub-contractors not meeting construction schedules. Projects overall, have met construction schedules and/or are expected to,” said Powell.

However, when the weather does turn it can pose challenges. “The majority of our work is outdoors and we are very susceptible to weather conditions. So far, 2017 has been a good construction season and we hope it continues well into fall so that we can continue to benefit from the good weather,” said Powell.

“We have been relatively lucky so far this year. Wind storms and thunderstorms had some effect, but overall they only caused only short delays in the work,” he added.