Water Upgrades Flowing Right Along

Robert Thomas

C ast iron pipe removed on the   1200 block 7th Avenue   NW

Cast iron pipe removed on the 1200 block 7th Avenue NW

With half of Summer officially over, Phase Three of the Cast Iron Watermain Replacement is progressing so far without any major problems.

“We are slightly behind schedule but well within the contingency plans,” Craig Hemingway, the City's Communications Director told MJ Independent.

The main factor placing the project slightly off schedule has been weather related, Hemingway stated. In the earlier stages of the project there were days of heavy rain.

“We can still make the end of September, it’s all based on the weather,” he said, adding “the guys are making really good progress.”

At the present time two sections of the $5.9million dollar phase have been completed with a couple more just in the final stages of completion. The work is part of a 20 year $119 million project to replace outdated cast iron watermains.

So far 2nd Avenue NE from Manitoba Street E to Fairford Street East and 11th Avenue NE from Athabasca Street E to Fairford Street E are completed.

View inside the trench

View inside the trench

Three other areas are in the final stages of completion: Algoma Avenue NW from Macdonald Street W to Laurier Street W is in the initial stages of paving. Seventh Ave NW from MacDonald Street W to Saskatchewan Street West is in the final stages of compacting the trench work.

There is a slight delay on completion of the Athabasca Street NE from 11th Ave East to 13th Ave East because soil samples are being analyzed for contaminants. There was a gas station on this section of the work and if contaminants are found they would require environmental rehabilitation before the work could be completed. The environmental work, if needed, would be paid for by the City.

Communication with affected property owners has been enhanced this year from last year. Last year, numerous affected property owners especially those on High Street West raised serious concerns about a lack of communication with the City and its contractor.

“The communication lessons have been learnt from Phase Two. We have rectified and doing better this year,” Hemingway stated.

   Looking down the trench from the packer


Looking down the trench from the packer

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“There is great cooperation between kMS (the contractor) the engineering consultants and the City.”

Additionally the contractor has worked hard to update affected property owners and residents, he said.

With the project progressing without serious problems plans are to move into the much more challenging Manitoba Street East from Main Street N to 3rd Ave NE in the near future.

In preparation for this more challenging business section there has been “plenty of contact with businesses” he said, to keep them abreast of any developments.

In what may be regarded as the first hiccup in Phase Three, on Wednesday evening a boil water order was issued for all homes on the 1100 block of 7th Avenue NW after E Coli was detected in the water. The E Coli entered the system when the section of water main lost pressurization.

Residents are asked to boil their water until further notice. Full details were unavailable at press time if the order was due to problems with work on the adjacent 1200 block.

In related news, work is in its final stages on the High Street West portion of Phase Two of the Water main Replacement Program with final paving scheduled for August 11th. An area near 6th NW had to be tested for soil contaminants.