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Stettler Town council approves change of scope for Spruce Drive work

An item added to the Stettler town council meeting on May 7 was regarding scope changes to the approved rehabilitation project for Spruce Drive.

An item added to the Stettler town council meeting on May 7 was regarding scope changes to the approved rehabilitation project for Spruce Drive.  New concerns have arisen as the town has had a chance to closer examine the stretch of road being rehabilitated.

The original project would see partial road repairs for failed sections of roadway, which would include new asphalt.  A 1.2-meter sidewalk was also to be added to the existing curb and gutter along the road.  During the design phase of the project, two new concerns have arisen that will significantly affect the project.

The first concern noted by Director of Operations Melissa Robbins is that there is no road structure under the asphalt on Spruce Drive.  The second concern noted is that both sides of the roadway have fibre optic cable underneath and the cost to move and properly reconnect the service is put at approximately $120,000.

The approved budget for the project in the 2024 Capital Budget includes $530,000 for roadway repairs and $350,000 to add the sidewalk on one side. The new information means that properly rehabilitating the roadway would require removing all the asphalt, excavating and installing a proper granular base structure and repaving the road.  The cost of relocating the fibre optic on the side of the road where the sidewalk would go brings the estimated cost of the project to around $800,000.

Robbins explained that initial contact with landowners to be affected by the sidewalk installation has not been favourable as the construction would significantly impact their properties.  This includes tree removal, and they would then have a sidewalk they would be required to shovel during the winter. 

The new costs make the overall project no longer cost-effective.  Therefore, administration recommended allocating the $350,000 for sidewalk construction to the monies marked for road rehabilitation.  This would go towards a full road rehabilitation of Spruce Drive from Highway 56 to 61 Street.  This would mean the budget approval would be for $800,000 with a tender award and final costs to be presented at a future council meeting.

Coun. Travis Randell motioned to approve administration’s recommendation to reallocate the sidewalk funding to the cost of road repaving.  The motion was passed.