There’s an old saying that there are only two seasons in Alberta—winter and construction. It certainly feels that way when the orange traffic barriers and detour signs appear as the snow melts. There’s an obvious reason why road construction work occurs in warmer weather; the short window of opportunity when the ground isn’t frozen. What isn’t so obvious is the amount of planning and coordination that takes place with every construction project.
There are roads and then there’s what’s beneath the roads — buried utilities. Just like your vehicle or any home appliance, utilities need constant upgrades and repairs. That’s why the Town has a Street Replacement Program where one or more blocks receive upgrades each year. Occasionally, the work will expand to include a design change for the area’s roads and sidewalks.
Council reviews and approves the proposed changes that benefit the community. Town staff reach out through letters, notices, public meetings or open houses to provide information and seek feedback. This was the case with the Centre Street project now underway.
Once a project has a budget and approval, contracts are signed and timelines set. However, there are almost always unexpected circumstances. The main issue in our part of the country is weather. A stretch of rainy weather can slow down progress by days or even weeks. Another challenge is coordinating with contractors. Replacing underground utilities involves many outside contractors and each of them works with complex schedules to bring in their crews and expertise.
We know it’s frustrating when roads are closed, and heavy equipment is working close by.
However, the work is necessary so that water flows from the taps when we turn them on, and electricity and gas are there to heat our homes during that other season—winter.
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If you have any questions about construction projects, give the Town a call at 403-652-2110.