County council hears roads annoyingly soft

Public Works report includes much utility work

County of Wetaskiwin councilors heard about the wet condition of some roads in the municipality during the regular Public Works Committee meeting June 19.

Director of Public Works Neil Powell submitted his regular report to council for their consideration.

Soft roads

In his report Powell stated, “This has been a particularly bad spring for frost boils. The conditions we have experienced so far have led to numerous frost boils throughout the County and crews are dealing with changing road conditions daily. It I expected that recent rains and continued warming conditions will finally settle down the road subgrade.”

Powell said numerous areas were struggling to thaw out, including black dirt areas. “There’s still some soft roads out there,’ said Powell.

Safety permits

The Public Works director noted the county required some work on commercial trucking permits. “In previous Director’s reports, Council was informed that the County underwent a National Safety Code audit regarding our status as a commercial carrier,” stated Powell.

“The initial audit was conducted in 2017 with several items flagged for correction prior to a follow up audit which was to be scheduled prior to May 25, 2018. The initial audit identified several deficiencies in which the County had to rectify in order to maintain its Safety Fitness Certificate (SFC). The SFC is necessary for the operation of all our truck and trailer combinations with a total haul capacity of 11,794 kg or more.

“A follow up audit was conducted on May 15, 2018 by a certified auditor and the good news is that the County has addressed the deficiencies as first identified – and has a new Safety Fitness Certificate identifying it as a viable and licensed commercial carrier. The County will stay progressive in maintaining and enhancing our NSC program so that we continue to improve and embrace carrier safety through proper driver training, fleet maintenance and record keeping.”

Summer projects

Powell stated it’s looking like a busy summer in the County of Wetaskiwin.

“Work has begun on the 2018 Road Construction Projects,” stated Powell. “The contract was awarded to Netook Construction Ltd. and they are beginning work at the Bethany Homes bridge and with the shoulder pull on TR 450. They will move westward as the summer progresses to TR 472 and TR 480 as well as the Battle Lake Trail work.

“County crews have begun work on Wetaskiwin Ag Society access road. Work is about 70 per cent done with a two week delay expected while we wait for an ATCO gas line to be lowered at the east end.

“Work on the Gwynne slide will begin in June with completion expected in July. Work will include the installation of a bin wall followed by embankment restoration and road restoration.

“Alberta Transportation has provided notice of their work within the County’s western region. The work is along Hwy 22 from Hwy 53 to Hwy 616 and includes milling and pavement overlay.”

Utility report

Powell said a substantial amount of utility work is starting or underway. “Work on Phase II of the South Pigeon Lake Regional Wastewater System has started with initial pre-construction meetings and the arrangement of utilities which will serve the new lift station site.

“Activity at the lift station site will begin in earnest in mid to later June 2018. Work on the force main will begin following the Canada Day weekend, July 3rd, 2018.

“Work is finishing up in the Hamlet of Village at Pigeon Lake regarding the new sewage installation and service hook up of grinder pumps. Grinder pumps have been installed for most of the VPL business district (common) but the five homes in the residential area are still balking at the costs associated with the local improvement plan and have yet to commit to the installation of their service pump and components. This group has approached administration regarding their options and are seeking financial relief of some fashion.

“Rod Hawken, CAO and Jeff Chipley, Asst. CAO have kept in constant communication with this group with this issue likely brought forth to Council at a future meeting.

“Utility crews have started their flushing programs of both the water mains and wastewater collection mains.

“This work takes several weeks once started to address all the sites throughout the county.”

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