by Colin Smith
Much needed work on Morinville streets is now underway, but some residents think it’s too much of a good thing.
Alberta Transportation crews have begun doing remedial work on Main Street 9100 Avenue), where an inadequate chip seal paving job has been the source of complaints for months
Grinding off the chip seal and then be re-paving Highway 642 east of the rail crossing to East Boundary Road is expected to take three weeks, depending on the weather.
With the highway reduced to one lane in each direction, motorists are facing delays.
Parking may also be restricted when work is being done on adjacent driving lanes.
Meanwhile, contractors for the Town are also working on improvements to 100 Street, south of the tracks.
The project includes traffic light installation, dedicated turning lanes at Westwinds Drive and a pedestrian multiway on the west side of the road from the rail crossing to 90 Avenue.
Several people commenting on photos posted on MorinvilleNews.com’s Facebook page suggested that work on two projects should have been coordinated and staggered to reduce traffic disruption.
According to Morinville Communications Coordinator Tracy Dalzell-Heise, Alberta Transportation had stated the Highway 642 project would begin very early in the construction season. The Town was given about a week’s notice of the actual start of the project.
The work on 100 Street, approved by Council in February, is expected to take three months. It must be completed prior to the opening of the new St. Kateri Tekawitha Academy school in September.
“With the large scope of the signalization project, these projects most likely would have overlapped regardless of their start date,” said Dalzell-Heise. “We know that this is frustrating in the short term for all residents and businesses.
“It has been a long wait for this fix to Highway 642, one that the majority of residents will be very happy to finally see done. And the signalization project is integral to the growth of our community, and will certainly make access to the new school easier and safer.”
Contractor for the estimated $2.65 million project is Standard General Inc.
A Town of Morinville statement said the company has “committed to performing this work in the most expedient and efficient manner possible while endeavouring to minimize any inconvenience to Morinville residents.”