Lloydminster residents annoyed by the ongoing detour downtown may be wondering what work is really being done.
47 Street in town remains closed off, and construction has extended across 51st Ave, causing a significant detour in the area. Construction on the downtown street started mid-June and will likely continue until October, on different sections of the street, from 50th Avenue up to 53rd, according to the City’s Chief Executive Engineer, Terry Burton.
“On 47 Street there, they’re doing our annual program that we do for replacing older water and sanitary sewer mains. So it’s officially called the 2016 Water & Sewer Replacement Program,” explains Burton.
The budget for the work is $1.5 million, and the only other infrastructure projects currently being undertaken by the City is the 2016 Street Improvement Program, which brought about changes to 36 Street, in the form of designated turning lanes at 52 Avenue and 57 Avenue.
Despite significant rainfall a week or so ago, Burton says the construction is still moving forward on schedule.
“It’s got to be dried out to be able to be packed enough to be able to put what they call ‘subbase’ down, and ultimately, the asphalt on top of it… definitely pump out the water and then get it turned up enough, and dried out enough so that they can start packing it down appropriately. So it does set them back a few days but in all the schedules and everything else, there’s room for such events to happen.”
Allow the detour has likely inconvenience dozens of people, especially those who live near the construction site, the repairs necessary based on Burton’s background on why the work is being done at all.
“Through the city of course, the mains that are in the ground, the water mains and sanitary mains got put in the ground definitely at various times as the city grows. In this particular area, these ones dated back to 1947, so definitely got some age to them, definitely experiencing some problems with them, in conditions. So there’s a need for those mains to be updated.”
Burton’s message to the public is to be patient with workers and to plan a a little extra time for the detour.