Council paves plan for roads

Council pushed forward on the 2015 Annual Capital Roads Program at the Feb. 11 budget meeting that will see a number of roads repaved.

Council pushed forward on the 2015 Annual Capital Roads Program at the Wednesday, Feb. 11 budget meeting that will see a number of roads repaved.

At the Jan. 14 budget meeting, city staff put forward two options for the road program. At that meeting council decided to pursue a surface level approach — hoping to pave as much street as possible for the money.

On Wednesday, council directed city staff to undertake removal, reshaping and repaving of the roads identified in the attachment, with the emphases was on maximizing the amount of paving that could take place.

Engineering Services assessed the roads based on whether the water, sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure have a projected life of at least 15 years.

That means that roads that need to be replaced in less than 15 years will not be repaved this year.

The collector roads identified includes: half a kilometre of Kootenay Street (21st Avenue to Kootenay Place); 180 metres of Cranbrook Street (Highway 3 to 2nd Street North); 230 metres of 2nd Street South (Victoria Avenue to 24st Street); and 420 metres of 2nd Street South (27th Avenue to 31st Avenue). The total of 1.33 kilometres is estimated to cost $1.26 million.

The local roads identified are: 290 metres of 2A Street South (Start to 26th Avenue); 310 metres of 4th Street South (24th Avenue to 27th Avenue); 290 metres of 5th Avenue South (24th Avenue to 26th Avenue); 70 metres of 25th Avenue (3rd Street South to 3A Street South); 160 metres of 26th Avenue (3A Street South to 6th Street South); and 230 metres of 2A Street/26th Avenue (27th Avenue to 3rd Street South). That totals 1.35 km and is estimated to cost $1.12 million.

The estimated program total is $2.38 million. There is also another $661,000 budgeted for optional roadwork.

Coun. Norma Blissett asked whether those are the quickest and easiest to do.

“Is that why they were chosen?” she asked. “I ask that because I went and drove around and they certainly aren’t the worst roads in Cranbrook. It made me wonder. When I looked at the local roads — 4th Street, 5th Street, 25th (Avenue)— in that area, they didn’t seem that bad to me compared to when I went on 13th Avenue and 6th (Street).”

Eric Sharpe, Director of Engineering, explained the process that was undertaken to decided the targeted streets.

“We tried to identify roads that we felt comfortable with that have infrastructure that has at least 15 years of life-expectancy on it through the asset management,” Sharpe said. He agreed that there are roads in worse shape than the ones put forward.

“The unfortunate part of that is that they have very old infrastructure underneath,” he said. “Paving them over and then going back in and tearing them out just doesn’t make good financial sense in our opinion.”

Sharpe said the work would be paving.

“It is actually taking the existing asphalt off, reshaping with gravel so that you can get the water off the road — the biggest problem with roads is when you have water getting into the roads — then repaving,” Sharpe said.

Coun. Ron Popoff asked whether council would be seeing a priority list of roads and the infrastructure below.

Sharpe said that will be coming as part of a presentation for the 2016.

City staff also included optional items which could be looked at if the pricing for the primary projects is good.

Blissett said she was concerned about public perception for those who live on some of Cranbrook’s more degraded streets.

“I know this one on 13th Avenue which is very, very rough, and seeing roads that aren’t in as bad shape fixed,” Blissett said. “So are we going to get to those bad ones next year?”

Sharpe said that is a tough question.

“If we start getting into 13th or 11th Avenue, as an example…One of the ones that we initially thought that we could do was 4th Street South and it turns out there is a galvanized water line under there, which is about as bad as you can get in town,” he said.

Sharpe said that 2nd Street South has been identified as a priority because it has trunk lines underneath, as well as significant pipe failures.

“The unfortunate part of this is there is a lot of need and not enough dollars,” he said.

Mayor Lee Pratt asked if there is an alternative that could be pursued, such as chip seal, for 4th Avenue.

Sharpe said the problem with chip sealing is that there is not a lot of local contractors that do that, so it usually has to be tied in with a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure project. It’s also difficult to get someone in to do a relatively small piece of road.

Pratt said council is headed in the right direction.

“What’s been happening is doing four to six blocks a year, it’s not working, and I think the public – the taxpayers — are basically fed up with that strategy, it’s not showing a lot of results,” Pratt said, adding that council was now trying to get a bigger bang for their buck. “I guess the long term of this is, if we can do this and show the taxpayers that we are serious and we’re going to get some result and it costs money. If we went to them after this and said look, this is what we did for $2.5 million. If we were to go borrow $6 million this is what we could do… it’s going to cost you this much on your taxes. I think they would be more receptive.”

CAO Wayne Staudt said the roads are something that the city will always struggle with.

“I think it’s fair to say, the city will never have enough money to fix every street in town, regardless of how bad they are or how bad they need it,” Staudt said.

He noted that one technique that could be looked at is to do the roads neighbourhood by neighbourhood. If the neighbourhood wants to step up and partner with the city through a local area service tax, they could be bumped up to the front of the queue. The alternative is just to wait.

“That process is used in other municipalities and used in town before,” Staudt said.

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