Maintaining and enhancing our downtown infrastructure

Council recognizes the importance of a well-functioning municipal infrastructure system,

By Mayor Steve Christie

As mayor, I’m part of a dedicated team at the City of Lacombe responsible for developing and maintaining our civic infrastructure network, including roadways, schools, sewage and waste disposal systems, to help keep our community livable, sustainable and viable well into the future.

Council recognizes the importance of a well-functioning municipal infrastructure system, as it allows for improved service delivery, and helps to promote economic development and job creation.

This past spring, City crews were dispatched to investigate and address a sewer backup on 50 Ave. caused by a blockage just west of 53 St. While the blockage was speedily cleared by staff, further investigation revealed a broken section of the main pipe wall. However, the line seemed to be flowing normally.

A follow-up inspection of that area the following day revealed another blockage further east, prompting staff to contract a sewer line camera company to conduct a detailed video inspection of the line.

The video revealed several integrity failures, sags, misalignments and even a location of nearly complete collapse. As a result, the Capital Works Program includes upgrades to water mains, new sidewalk and a new asphalt overlay on 49C Ave., all scheduled to coincide with the 50 Ave. infrastructure construction upgrades.

Recommendations on the replacement of the sanitary main at 49C Ave. were based on information gathered from the line inspection. We are also concerned about the pipe that runs along 50 Ave., which serves the southwest portion of the City. A failure of this pipe could cause a system surcharge, dramatically increasing the risk of sewer backup in affected homes.

Another area of concern is at the intersection at 52 Ave., as it requires immediate repair to ensure this critical artery of the municipal wastewater collection system remains operational. Administration recommends replacing the current 200mm wastewater pipes as early as 2017 with 300mm pipes to accommodate additional flows.

The most likely cause for the deteriorating pipe network is the material it is made of (vitrified clay tile) and the heavy cyclic loading. Although the clay tile is strong, it is also brittle and inflexible. High water volumes have shortened the life span of the material, and if left unaddressed, sections of the pipe could suddenly collapse, requiring emergency repairs.

Emergency repairs can happen at any time of the year and require specialized equipment, labour or materials. The costs are more difficult to control in the absence of planning, labour availability and other resources. The repairs can also be extremely disruptive to the community. The disruption time in this case is estimated at three to four weeks per block for sanitary sewer repair.

The impact to residents and affected businesses in Lacombe’s downtown core is one of the greatest costs of a downtown infrastructure upgrade program and I believe that it is critical that this impact be minimized by limiting the duration and frequency of this type of work.

With this in mind, council has directed staff to conduct further analysis of other infrastructure in the impacted area, including water and wastewater, roads, storm sewers, concrete sidewalk, curbs and gutters, as well as lighting fixtures.

Due to the cost and community disruption associated with this project, a high level of planning and consultation will be required. To that end, council has adopted the recommendation to complete this program in 2017, with planning and stakeholder consultations taking place in 2016.

I, along with other members of council, feel strongly that a proactive approach to this infrastructure upgrade project is more economical than simply waiting to react to an emergency.

I will continue to provide the citizens of Lacombe with new information on this infrastructure program as it is made available in the spirit of openness and transparency. And as always, I welcome your feedback on this and other topics of interest.

Steve Christie is the mayor of Lacombe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read