Lacombe County councillors have adjusted the five-year road construction schedule to accommodate an incoming transmission line. Councillors chose to revise the long-range schedule during their regular meeting on April 23rd.
Lacombe County Manager of Operations Phil Lodermeier told council the five-year road construction schedule has been previously approved, but that AltaLink has proposed to install a major transmission line along RR 26-1, south of Hwy. 12 in 2016.
“In our long range plan, we have this road down for reconstruction in 2017 so there will be a major conflict and additional costs for both the County and AltaLink,” he said.
Lodermeier suggested if the County moved up the reconstruction of RR 26-1 to this year, making it a top priority, the County could benefit in cost savings and avoid the conflict with the AltaLink transmission line.
“It is important to not have to work around the AltaLink structures and or pay to have the poles moved, so it is our recommendation to move the RR 26-1 project to the first priority for 2016,” he said.
With an adjustment to the road construction schedule, some of the projects currently slated for 2016 including RR 2-0 (north and south of Centreview Road) 3.5 miles, Ray Walker Road (Twp. Rd 41-0) 1.5 miles, RR 3-1 (north of Hwy. 11) two miles and RR 3-2 (Safronovich Road) six miles, are likely to be pushed back a year.
Councillor Dana Kreil said two significant roads in her division, RR 3-1 and RR 3-2, are in bad shape and residents have been patiently waiting for years for the roads to be repaired as per the long-term construction schedule.
“I would hate to see that fall off for 2016,” said Kreil. “I don’t want to see that pushed off next year.”
Kreil put forth a motion for the County to look into using additional resources to complete the reconstruction of RR 26-1, as to allow the project to still be completed but to not alter the five-year construction schedule.
Councillor Rod McDermand said if the County did deviate from the fixed schedule, it would mean bringing in private industry to complete the project.
“I’m very cautious on this,” said McDermand.
Lodermeier said depending on the weather this season, all of the scheduled projects may still be completed. “It may not push it all back,” he said.
Councillor Brenda Knight noted that all divisions have roads that are in the queue for reconstruction, but she would be in favour of a revision of the motion, allowing County staff to research the use of private industry to supplement the current long-range road construction program.
Councillor Keith Stephenson said that the motion was a, “Very big step,” and should be discussed within the County’s strategic plan or at a committee of the whole meeting.
Due to the nature of the motion, council decided to table the discussion regarding the use of a private contractor to complete construction projects until another date.
Council approved the reconstruction project of RR 26-1 to be moved up one year to 2016.