Town council urges Highway 56 repaving

Alberta Transportation has long-term plans to upgrade Highway 56 through Stettler, but the town council wants urgent action

Alberta Transportation has long-term plans to upgrade Highway 56 through Stettler, but the town council wants urgent action to upgrade a crumbling road that was last improved more than 25 years ago.

At its regular meeting last week, town council approved a staff recommendation to urge Alberta Transportation to repave Highway 56 between 46 Street and 57 Street.

“This road needs to see base remediation, new asphalt and concrete and new thermoplastic line markings installed,” operations director Melissa Robbins said in her report to council.

With a video produced by Robbins in hand, town council plans to plea for prompt action when local representatives meet with Alberta Transportation officials at the fall convention of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association this Wednesday to Friday.

With the deteriorating condition of the road, many houses shake and pictures fall off walls as heavy vehicles pass by, reported Rob Stoutenberg, the town’s chief administrative officer.

“This is an issue of quality of life for many residents.”

Sections of the curb and gutter need to be replaced to provide better drainage, Robbins said.

This spring, Alberta Transportation confirmed long-term plans to upgrade and realign the highway in the north part of the town with a roundabout in the northeast. Officials said the project could occur in about 30 years or more, and might never happen.

In past years, parts of Highway 56 have been repaved, Robbins said.

Traffic lights at 70 Street

Farther west, the town also wants the timing of the traffic lights on Highway 12 at 70 Street to be reset to shorten the time that traffic stops to wait to make a left-hand turn from 70 Street onto the highway.

“There’s no consistency,” said Mayor Dick Richards.

Council again approved a staff recommendation to request that Alberta Transportation shorten the waits to maintain traffic flows without excessive delays.

“Priority is given to highway traffic, which is understandable,” Robbins said. “However, when vehicles approach the intersection from 70 Street, the sensors at the intersection should recognize the vehicle and adjust the timing of the signal as required.”

Drivers can often wait up to five or six minutes for a green light to turn left, Stoutenberg said.

Storm-sewer replacement tender

Council awarded a tender for storm-sewer replacements this year to Wally’s Backhoe Services Ltd. of Stettler, with a $296,214 bid, the lowest of three tenders.

Council also agreed to increase the budget to a maximum of $285,000, including engineering, from the original budget of $200,000.

That work would upgrade the utility across Recreation Road to replace a deteriorating section of the storm main line.

New pump for lift station

Council awarded a tender for a new Flyt pump and equipment for the east-end lift station to Xylem of Calgary for $34,097, plus the federal goods and services tax.

“During the year, the pump operated successfully and the decision to delay the replacement was made, and this year the pump has been plugging regularly and cannot be delayed longer,” Robbins said.