The City is asking residents and motorists to be patient while they complete water and sewer replacement under the intersection of Highway 16, a.k.a 44 street, and 47 avenue. The intersection was officially closed at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18, and is expected to remain closed until July 5, weather permitting.
The City is currently contracting Rusway Construction to replace and upsize water, sanitary and storm sewer mains as part of the 2019 Water and Sewer Replacement Program. In the meantime, traffic is directed to go around the work site along 75 avenue, 62 avenue or 50 avenue to go around the site via 52 street or 12 street. Westbound traffic is being sent north along 40 avenue to go around via 52 street. The City confirms they are working with contractors, surface works and underground to finish before the long weekend.
City officials say that signs announcing the closure were posted as far as west of 75 avenue since last Thursday. Pre-construction advertising was also posted last week to notify motorists and truck traffic of the site closure, and the city has reached out to various agencies including the Alberta and Saskatchewan permitting offices, the Saskatchewan Highway Hotline, SGI, weigh scales and the Husky truck stop. James Rogers, senior manager of capital infrastructure with the City of Lloydminster, says the city is
“That’s one thing that we’re really trying to strive for this year at the City of Lloydminster – especially in our engineering and services department – is giving information to people, the residents and motorists,” said Rogers. “It started last week with public notices to business owners along 44 street, to the Alberta and Saskatchewan permitting offices for wide and heavy loads. We’ve talked with the highway hotlines, put pre-construction signs up. It’s been an ongoing process to bring as much notification to this as possible.”
Rogers rebukes concerns that the signs were only put up the morning of the closure and holds that they were posted prominently for motorists to see for days beforehand. He says it’s the responsibility of drivers to be aware of the signs and make decisions on their route. Rogers adds that the city has anticipated larger trucks entering residential areas and calls for them to stick to the alternative routes around.
“These large loads, they are not made for our residential roads. It impacts our other infrastructure, it impacts traffic flow, and it is a genuine safety concern for residents in those neighbourhoods.”
Rogers confirms that the project could not have been held off. The water and sewer main replacements impact surcharges in the system and improve capacity for work within those neighbourhoods. An infrastructure audit recommended the replacement and upsizing of the mains to prevent flooding in the sanitary main on 36 street. Rogers adds that closing the intersection was necessary and asks people to be patient.
“We just ask everybody to be patient, work with us, to cooperate and abide by the traffic signs that we have. Did we want to close down 44 street? Absolutely not, because we understand it has a significant impact to motorists in Lloydminster and going through the city. But for safety, that is number one. We need to close this down for the safety of our workers at the City of Lloydminster, the contractor and the consultant we have on this program.”
It’s estimated that 10,000 vehicles per day utilize 44 street corridor as they travel along Highway 16.