The city’s only major road and civic works project this year is behind schedule with affected residents being told a plan is being developed on how they will cope over the winter.
The $3.956 million project to dig up Graham Ave. from Eby to Kenney on the Southside, replace water and sewer lines and top it off with a wider road surface and sidewalk remains an active construction area with a bumpy driving surface.
A letter from city engineering manager Travis Christianson to residents conceded that the project is behind schedule and that there were concerns about water and sewer service, access and snow plowing over the winter.
“The city is currently working with Progressive Ventures Construction to develop a plan for the rest of the project,” Christianson wrote in a letter distributed to residents regarding talks with the prime contractor on the project.
He said the city hoped to have a plan in place “in the following weeks.”
Originally forecast to cost $2.59 million, the project cost escalated this spring to nearly $4 million because of increased labour, equipment, material and asphalt costs, city council learned in late March.
The city then dipped into a variety of bank accounts, including one containing a major provincial grant, to cover the difference.
City officials several years ago cited the need to replace the current 350mm sewer pipe along Graham with a 525mm one to prevent sewer backups and to allow for future growth.
The current water pipe of asbestos concrete will be replaced with one of PVC but the old pipe itself will be left in the ground and filled with concrete so that it does not collapse.
The city has yet to respond to queries about the reasons the project is behind schedule and if there will need to be a further budget increase.
Original plans called for the project to be finished by now.