by Colin Smith
A lane drainage and improvement trial undertaken by Morinville Public Works this summer indicate that problem lanes can be brought to satisfactory condition for about $15,000 per block.
In a lane condition report presented to Council at its October 8 regular meeting Public Works Director Claude Valcourt said the work on the lane located between 97 and 98 Avenues west of 102 St. proved to be “quite effective.”
The lane improvement work consisted of cleaning and reshaping ditches, grading work and addition of gravel, according to Valcourt’s report.
It was undertaken by Public Works operators and a contracted excavator under the supervision of the Engineering Manager and a Public Works foreman. The cost of about $15,000 included the gravel, contracted equipment and staff time.
Valcourt said this approach could be used for the remaining unpaved lanes that have been identified as needing improvement, three of which are considered to be in poor condition.
It is seen as a short-term solution, with a two to three-year lifespan, although that could be extended through ongoing maintenance.
In response to a question from Councillor Stephen Dafoe, Valcourt said it would not be possible to do improvement work on the three lanes in the worst condition this year. He noted that currently no funding has been budgeted for this work.
The report was accepted as information and referred to budget deliberations.
In February, a report presented by the Administration to Council estimated that the cost of long-term upgrading the three worst lanes in Morinville would be about $100,000 to $150,000 per block, plus $10,000 for surveying and geotechnical information.
It included a map showing the condition of Morinville’s more than 20 lanes: satisfactory and paved, satisfactory and unpaved, poor and paved and poor and unpaved.
According to the Director of Public Works Claude Valcourt, the classification is based not on the number of complaints received, but on the level of effort in terms of equipment and labour required to maintain adequate drainage during spring thaw or heavy rainfall.
That report is based on information provided to the Town by AECOM Canada Ltd. on the costs of improving the lane east of 100 Street, between 99 Avenue and 100 Avenue. Council budgeted about $125,000 in 2019 for the restoration of the lane.
The February report was referred to the 2020 Budget deliberations for discussion on a motion by Councillor Nicole Boutestein.