Two major road rebuilds are slated for 2013 with a cumulative price tag of $1.5 million.
The 4700 block of McConnell Ave. from Eby St. to Sparks St. in the Horseshoe makes up $760,000 of that amount while the rest has been tentatively budgeted for Park Ave. west of Kenney St.
In a budget meeting last week, city council met with staff to talk plans for next year’s road-construction season, and some questioned why both projects above were given priority.
“Why the high priority for Park west of Kenney?” asked councillor Bruce Bidgood of the stretch of road which runs past the Emco plumbing wholesale business and toward the back end of Canadian Tire.
“It seems like there would be so much more benefit … doing a street like that,” Bidgood said of expanding the McConnell road project.
In response, public works director Herb Dusdal said frost affects both the Park and 4700 block of McConnell road sections.
He added that the 4700 block of McConnell was chosen for the rebuild because it has bigger frost issues than the 4600 block of McConnell, for instance.
Traffic is also taken into consideration, said Dusdal, adding the more traffic there is, the higher the priority when it comes to reconstruction.
Also, the city has been eyeing a rebuild on Park Ave. for sometime.
“Park was on our list two years ago and we moved it back,” said councillor Brian Downie.
The difference between a road rebuild and paving is work on the infrastructure that lies beneath it, a new road base and drainage as well as pavement on top. Road paving, for which the draft budget has $1.3 million slated for 2013, can be patch-paving work or involve the removal of the road surface either by crushing it into new road base or stripping of the top layer of asphalt prior to repaving.
Major road projects city staff have slated for years to come include Graham from Kalum to Eby, Loen from Munroe to Eby, Munroe – Hwy16 to Walsh and Munroe from Straume to McConnell.
Without an industrial tax base to increase municipal tax revenues, the city has mainly residential and business tax revenue to rely upon, a factor that can limit its ability to undertake capital projects such as road rebuilding.