Council approves 61st Street alley work

An overview of the work that will be done in the 61st Street alley. ECA Review/Submitted

Stettler town council approved a back alley project a bit more expensive than originally thought, during their regular meeting July 7.

A moment of silence was held at the beginning of the meeting in honour of past mayor Dick Richards, who recently passed away.

Councillors heard a report from Director of Operations Melissa Robbins, who described a water main replacement project budgeted for the 61st Street back alley. 

“The 2020 capital budget project to replace the sanitary and water mains and services in the back alley of 61 Street between 43 and 44 Avenue for $546,000 funded from 2020 MSI grants.”

Robbins went on to state that the scope of the project was changed when certain work appeared to be unnecessary.

“Normally when completing water replacements, we typically replace the sanitary sewer adjacent to it as both have similar life cycles,” stated Robbins in her report to council.

“During the design of the project, the sewer mains was video inspected to confirm its condition.

The sewer in this area is still in very good shape, with minimal grade concerns. It likely has 15+ years of life left.

“With this updated information, the decision was made to expand the construction limits of the water replacements as the quality of the water main pipe in this area is not great. 

Expanding the limits and completing all the water replacements in this area in one project minimizes disturbances to the adjacent landowners, reduces mobilization costs and ensures long term sustainability of the water infrastructure.”

Robbins noted in her presentation that the project was originally budgeted for $546,000 and with the expanded scope $200,477.88 more was required for the extra water replacements.

“Additional funding for the project is available within the existing 2020 Capital Budget as the paving prices were under budget and the decision to delay the Downtown Streetscape Rehabilitation affords some flexibility with funding,” she stated, noting she discussed the issue with Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Steven Gerlitz and he stated the expanded project could be fit into existing budgets.

Robbins also noted a tender was handled by Tagish Engineering for the expanded project and received three bids. Urban Dirtworks bid $609,070.80, KC’s Environmental $699,787.50 and Watson Welding $876,743.00 for the project. Her recommendation was to award the contract to Urban Dirtworks. 

Robbins stated a local company declined to bid on this job because they already had a lot of work to do.

She stated the job may be tricky, as the alley contains not only town water mains but lines from other companies as well.

Coun. Gord Lawlor asked if the town was confident in Urban Dirtworks’ ability after a project they were involved with last year went on longer than expected. Robbins responded that the 2019 project included complicating factors.

Coun. Wayne Smith stated he lives in the area and wanted to confirm the work wouldn’t include entering people’s yards. Robbins responded no, that shouldn’t be necessary.

Smith asked how long this was going to take and Robbins stated work is expected to begin by Aug. 15 and will be done in stages, so some parts will always be open for access, but no thru-traffic allowed. 

She stated that once the project is approved residents will be fully notified of what’s going on. Robbins also stated back alley access will be affected by this project.

Councillors unanimously awarded the contract for the 61st street alley water main work to Urban Dirtworks.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.

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