Town outlines 2017 paving projects
Just like every year in Alberta, there are always two seasons: Winter and Construction.
For Drumheller, the latter is just around the corner.
Darryl Drohomerski, Director of infrastructure, has laid out all the roads that will be either reconstructed or simply overlayed with more asphalt over the two month period.
One road to keep a particular eye on is the Highway 9 from McDonald’s to the Mac’s convenience store stretch. One lane will be fixed at a time as to still keep a flow of traffic through the main stream area. That specific project will roughly take two weeks to complete, weather depending.
“What everyone has told the contractors and consultants is that there is a bit of traffic coordination required for that stretch of road,” said Drohomerski. “The good news about it is that it’s maybe a total two weeks worth of time, maybe a bit less.”
The local roads getting worked on this summer include: In front of the Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) North Railway Avenue from 17th Street East to 19th Street East, Second Avenue West from 7th Street West and 8th Street West, 6th Street West from 2nd Avenue West to Third Avenue West, Second Street SE from Hunts Crescent to First Street E, and 6th Avenue SW.
“Some of them are going to be pretty quick, some of them are going to take a bit more time,” said Drohomerski.
In the highway department, Highway 9 essentially from McDonald’s to First Street West by the Mac’s convenience store will be under construction as well as a new turnout on the south side of town when entering Drumheller. It will be made by the ‘ Welcome to Drumheller dinosaur sign.
“We are doing a turnout there on the roadside to get people off the highway when they want to take pictures and stuff like that,” said Drohomerski.
The projects will take anywhere from two days to three weeks or better.
As part of the Asset Management Plan, the Town does an assessment on the roads and rates the conditions as to how much more use the roads can handle.
“We look at those roads and look at the money that is avail- able and sort of look at the high priorities over the winter time and come up with a list in February and work towards getting that work done,” said Drohomerski.
The workload is larger than normal due to the highway work on behalf of Alberta Transportation including the Highway 9 section and the roadside turnout.
“It’s actually their work but they’re bundling it with the Town’s work in order to get a better price,” said Drohomerski. “You get one contractor to go in there to get all the asphalt as opposed to two contractors who do a little bit of work.”
The Town of Drumheller spends roughly $1,000,000 a year on roads and with the added highway projects, the Provincial Government is able
to fork over another $700,000. As well as paving, they do miscellaneous repairs around town like trail repair, isolated road section repairs, and sidewalks.
“We are probably at a 1.1 million dollars worth of construction work this year,” said Drohomerski.
The tender for the construction work is currently out and closes on Wednesday, May 10. Businesses will bid on the work and submit their prices. After that stage, the Town hires a consultant to do a background check to make sure they are capable of doing the work. Within a couple weeks, the new bidder will be chosen and prepare to work.
When entering a construction zone, workers tend to be close to traffic so being cognizant of their presence can always be beneficial.
“As we start into the construction season there will be other projects so there will be a lot of traffic around. We are reminding people to watch out for the workers and make sure they take their time,” said Drohomerski.
“Our goal is to be done this as fast as possible to minimize the disruption to the public whether they be residents or tourists.”
One of the Town of Drumheller paving projects this year is a turnout lane at the base of the South Hill of Highway 9.