Road Report: Construction Season!
As the ol’ saying goes, there’s two seasons in Alberta (and Edmonton, and Fort Saskatchewan): winter… and road construction! And when you look around Edmonton, two things are clear, one, winter is certainly over, and two, construction season is officially under way (our Heavy Civil speciality)!
What is the plan for Edmonton? The city has stated that it plans to build or fix at least 175 arterial road, bridge, interchange, and neighbourhood road projects this season and work has already begun on a great deal of those! This includes the rehabilitation of Connors Road between 90th ave and 94th street, where officials stated “all of this means it’s going to be a fairly busy season this year. We will be impacting citizens, but we have to continue to address the needs of our essential infrastructure,” said the city’s director of arterial road design and construction, Paul Szczepanski.
All of this work amounts to a few large numbers, totalling more than $451 million! These include:
- $160 million for 107 neighbourhood renewal projects
- $150 million for eight bridges and interchanges
- $99 million for 53 arterial roads
- $12 million for active modes and complete streets, including shared-use paths, bike lanes, and bus stops
- $30 million for traffic operations
Interesting factoid: the reason Edmonton is so well known for its potholes and scraggly roads is because of our unpredictable and ever-irreverent freezing / thawing cycles. The ice melts and gets into cracks, and then freezes again and expands, cracking the roads. Think of a can of pop. When it freezes, it expands and blows open the can of pop. This is happening to our roads every year!
Sczepanski has said that they are addressing our pothole problem, looking into better road materials and streets, which are less prone to wear and tear.
“What we are hoping is that now that council has given us the extra funding in arterial roads, we’ll be able to start addressing the problems that we have ongoing. What we should start seeing is a reduction in the number of potholes over the years as we go forward,” he said.
If you’re interested in the the current projects going on in Edmonton, visit this link: http://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/road_projects/current-road-projects.aspx