5 Ave. N. close to reopening
Recent snow slowed down paving
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.
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Major roadwork continues on 5 Avenue North near Westminster Elementary School as the City upgrades the underlying aging watermains.