Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.

Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get underway across the city.

Notable work on major arterial streets include repaving on a large southern section of Victoria Avenue, 14th Avenue and Theatre Rd. with plans for completion by the end of July.

Additional work includes reconstructing 30th Ave between 3rd St. and 7th St. but significant groundwater and unsuitable soils have been encountered, which will result in some delays and extra costs, according to Mike Matejka, who provided an update on road projects to city council on Monday evening.

Along Innes Ave, water service upgrades are in progress, with storm sewer and road construction to follow, with a completion date set for September.

A project tender has been issued for remediation for a road in the Mount Royal neighbourhood, with a construction schedule and notice to affected residents to follow in the coming weeks.

Based on this the 2021 budgeting process, the city is raising $2.7 million through the one per cent dedicated road tax this year, which has been a revenue stream in place for the last decade aimed specifically at improving municipal roads and underlying infrastructure.

In a news release issued this week, the city touted the one per cent dedicated road tax program, which has raised $14 million since it’s inception in 2010.

The first year the road tax was in place, the city collected $180,000, which has grown over the years to over $2 million annually.

In addition to generating revenue specifically for road construction and paving programs, the city also made changes to the tendering process to enable local contracting companies to bid on local projects.

“We brought in positive changes to the City’s overall tendering process to allow local contractors to bid on this important work,” said Mayor Lee Pratt, in a news release. “Local contractors were successful in being awarded these contracts at significant savings to the taxpayer.”

According to the city, approximately $49 million has been spend on the roads program since 2010, including $10 million in borrowing from an Alternative Approval Process five years ago.

“In 2010, it was the norm to issue only one or two big contracts for our road work, whereas now we typically issue four or five separate contracts each year,” said Mike Matejka, Manager of Infrastructure Planning and Delivery for the City of Cranbrook. “What this change has done is diversified our investment into the local economy, with multiple contractors having opportunities to take part in roadworks, while ensuring strong competition for good prices and quality of work.”

Over the years, significant road and infrastructure projects have included swaths of 11th Ave, Second St. S, Cobham Avenue, College Way, Industrial Road 2 and Theatre Rd.

In addition to major road construction projects, the city also has an annual repaving program.

“The overall road conditions in Cranbrook are trending in a positive direction due to the dedicated tax investments, and we are very much in line with other cities across the province,” says Matejka. “There is still a lot of work left to do and looking ahead our residents can expect continued growth in the amount of work done year over year.”

The city estimates the one per cent dedicated road tax will raise $17 million over the next five years.