By Cole Parkinson
With summer in full swing, plenty of Municipal District of Taber infrastructure projects are well on their way.
As council only has one meeting for each summer month, councillors were brought up to date on the myriad infrastructure projects on the go during their July 14 meeting.
The first project was the capital project rebuild of Range Road 18-2.
Tenders for the project opened in February and the M.D. received 10 tenders, eventually awarding the project to DeGraff Excavating for $276,318.80.
The approved budget for this project was $425,000 and the project is partially funded by the Alberta Government through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) Resource Road Program, up to a value of $196,000.
“That is winding down and pretty much finished. We’ve got one more approach we have to put in and that will be done,” stated Jack Dunsmore, M.D. project manager contractor.
Next up was the Township 8 Range 16 Drainage Project.
In spring 2015, the M.D. of Taber applied to the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP) for funding to enhance the drainage within the Township 8 Range 16 area south of the town of Taber, which was successful.
The 2020 capital budget saw $2,580,000 approved for the project with 90 per cent funding through the Alberta Community Resiliency Program and administration had estimated in the early spring the project would be well above the approved budget. A total of seven tenders were submitted with Ossa Terra being awarded the project in June for a total of $1,152,800.
“They are in there now working on the wetland component. They’ll probably be there until the end of August and then they’ll start working in the road ditch as part of the drainage,” added Dunsmore.
Range Road 16-5 base/pave project was next and it was originally scheduled for a soil-cement/chip seal project but after working with consultants in an attempt to get a mix design for the soil-cement product, it was agreed the scope change for the construction method would be tendered out as a base/pave structure considering the cost estimate for the project was about the same with the end product giving the M.D. a substantially better value.
Four total tenders were received by the project with council awarding it to the lowest tender price of $586,062.49 (excluding GST, engineering and contingency) as submitted by Tollestrup Construction Inc.
“That tender has been given out and it looks like they will start there about (Aug. 4),” said Dunsmore.
Another project long in the works, the Vauxhall Rest Area, is also getting going. At their June 23 meeting, council had approved East Butte Contracting as the contractor with their bid of $1,808,297.80.
“We are having a pre-construction start-up meeting (July 20) and then we’ll start that project,” continued Dunsmore.
Dunsmore also touched on some shovel ready projects in the M.D. as the provincial government had highlighted that as a way to get the economy rolling again.
“Some of the shovel-ready projects we were looking at getting into, we do have bridge funding for removal of bridges in the Enchant area. That tender goes out on (July 16) and we’ll have a pre-tender meeting on (July 21). We have bridge file — BRID main canal remove and replace project, that is also funded 75/25 (per cent) from the province. That is a little bit east and south of Lost Lake, up by Enchant. That one is in the design stage right now getting ready to tender late this fall for winter construction,” he said. “The chip seal roads that were identified as shovel ready, they are shovel ready to tender. They are ready to tender as we speak and they can go at any time if the money comes available.”
One of the last projects brought forward was the Range Road 17-4 grading/base/pave.
“Range Road 17-4, North of Barnwell, north of Huckleberry. We’ve got engineering firm Stantec working on that trying to come up with the design,” said Dunsmore.
Finally, the Red Trail overlay had a number of options council could proceed with.
“It’s really still in pretty good shape, there are just a few things we want to look at. If we try to put an overlay on top, we’d have to do a road widening. That gets fairly expensive,” explained Dunsmore. “The other option Stantec threw at us was to throw a chip seal on there to help maintain. It doesn’t give you added strength but it protects your surface.”
With Alberta Transportation in council chambers earlier in the meeting, Dunsmore also touched on some information they had provided which could potentially sway council’s decision.
“So there are different options you can look at doing on that one, it depends on the money you want to spend. Chip seal will give you another five years probably, it keeps a good surface on it. There are only a couple of spots coming westbound where you can see a little rutting in it. The rest of the road is in relatively good shape for the age of it,” continued Dunsmore. “Keep in mind, within the next three, four years, in listening to Darren (Davidson, Alberta Transportation regional director), there is going to be another road right beside it that has been improved. I can see that taking some of the traffic off.”