There’s still a bunch of road barricades out on Edmonton’s streets and the scramble is on to get the work done before one of Edmonton’s two seasons is over. That’s construction turning into winter. But the man who’s watching all of the projects for the city is confident they’ll be able to get done what they need to, even if the flakes fly.
It’s not the snow said Nathan Stelmach, the general supervisor for arterial road construction. “What it is, is what appears to be persistent low temperatures, for the next couple of weeks.”
“Usually the first bit of snow falls in mid or early October and everyone starts to panic,” he said in an interview. “Then it turns around and we get normal weather, and keep working until the last week of October. But here it doesn’t appear to be looking like it’s going to be very nice.”
“Let me put it to you this way, it’s fortunate that we didn’t have as big of a year in terms of locations as we did in 2015.”
What is still out there is a loss of a lane on the Yellowhead in east Edmonton between 66 and 82 streets. “At some point we have to make a decision. We’re going to have to try to get all of the paving done and I expect we will but it’ll be touch and go. (There’s) four solid days of paving left to do there.”
“On some other locations for example that aren’t yet ground, we just won’t grind them. For example 178 street, we have all of the concrete work done north of Whitemud, but we won’t proceed with a full out reclamation because we know we won’t be able to complete it, and pave it, so we’ll just do it in the spring.”
The call city staff will have to make is, will the paving hold up, or is it better to wait? Stelmach said they don’t want to do something half way. “If for some reason it doesn’t appear to perform, then we might have to redo it. We don’t want to intentionally put any kind of sacrificial asphalt in or anything like that because you know you’re wasting your money.”
Other locations that has them watching the forecasts, are 82 ave between 75 and 71 streets, 106 ave where there is some street-scape enhancement going on in the McCauley neighborhood, and unrelated to the weather but being held up by some Atco gas work Rowland rd. that Stelmach said will have to wait until the spring.
Three other sets of projects are still to be completed. The 53 Ave overpass is due to open soon, but a city spokesman said there is no set date yet.
The speed limit on the Whitemud westbound remains at 60 km/hr between the Rainbow Valley Bridge and Terwillegar Drive until the asphalt affected by the fire is repaired. They were hoping to do it this week however another weather delay is pushing that back.
And three construction areas are addressing high ranking right-turn collision locations. That’s meant lane closures at 23 Avenue at Terwillegar Drive, Windermere Blvd also at Terwillegar Dr, as well as Mill Woods Rd/91 St, all in the north east corner. The arterial roads construction team anticipates that this work will be completed before the winter.