5 Ave. N. close to re­open­ing

Re­cent snow slowed down paving

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Dave Ma­bell

There’s good news for north­side driv­ers.

The snow is gone and 5 Av­enue North will soon re­open.

And the wa­ter main re­lin­ing project along 13 Av­enue North is near­ing com­ple­tion.

In fact, says project man­ager Jeremy Charlesworth, work on 5 Av­enue could have been fin­ished al­ready — if it hadn’t snowed. With all the pipe re­place­ment done, crews had be­gun lay­ing down as­phalt be­tween 16 and 20 Street in prepa­ra­tion for re­open­ing.

But re­cent snow­falls put a stop to that, he says. You can’t pave on top of snow, ob­vi­ously.

And the road­way must be at least a few de­grees above freez­ing be­fore work can re­sume.

Now the fore­cast is for warmer days, how­ever, and Charlesworth says he doesn’t need many more good days to get the re­con­struc­tion done.

The old sur­face had to be re­moved to al­low re­place­ment of leak-prone wa­ter lines dat­ing back as far as the 1930s, he ex­plains. At one point, work­ers even dis­cov­ered an old wooden wa­ter­main that had been taken out of ser­vice but left in the ground.

Pipes just as an­cient may be found in many older parts of Leth­bridge, he says. But wa­ter­mains that cre­ate the most prob­lems — like the 5 Av­enue line — be­come the top pri­or­ity for re­place­ment.

Far­ther north on 13 Av­enue, Charlesworth says the end is near on a first-time project for Leth­bridge, plac­ing a lin­ing in­side wa­ter­mains that are still in rea­son­able shape — ex­pected to ex­tend their ser­vice life by 50 years.

Leth­bridge has been us­ing that pro­ce­dure to ex­tend the life of sewer lines, he ex­plains, but now an On­tario con­trac­tor is pro­vid­ing a sim­i­lar ser­vice for mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sys­tems. Ed­mon­ton was the first Al­berta city to adopt the new tech­nol­ogy, he adds, with Leth­bridge the sec­ond.

Lin­ing the pipes has been com­pleted, Charlesworth says, and work re­con­nect­ing each home to the main should be fin­ished within two to three weeks — de­pend­ing on the weather, of course.

Crews will start at the 15 Street end of the project, work­ing their way to­ward 23 Street.

Charlesworth says re­lated work is also in progress on parts of 23 Street as well as in the 10 Av­enue and 20 Street North area. He hopes to see the 23 Street sec­tion com­pleted first.

“It’s a busy road,” and driv­ers are de­toured to one side of the artery. They’re also asked to slow to 30 km/h, he adds. Most are co­op­er­at­ing, even though just a few work­ers may be vis­i­ble some days.

Fol­low @DMa­bel­lHer­ald on Twit­ter

Her­ald photo by Tim Kali­nowski

Ma­jor road­work con­tin­ues on 5 Av­enue North near West­min­ster Ele­men­tary School as the City up­grades the un­der­ly­ing ag­ing wa­ter­mains.

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