Longer summer extends City’s construction program
As temperatures drop and we switch from road graders to snowplows, the City of Regina’s 2017 construction season has come to an end. Major construction projects have proceeded both on schedule and on budget, with $88 million invested in infrastructure projects across the City’s 10 wards.
“As a growing city we have made investing in critical infrastructure a priority and that is something we know our residents want to see,” said Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. “We know that improving roads and traffic flow is important for residents who see their tax dollars hard at work improving their quality of life every day.”
The City invested $50 million in water, wastewater and drainage projects, with a further $38 million spent on roads and transportation infrastructure like bridges and sidewalks. This includes the completion of major projects like the Ring Road overpass at Victoria Avenue and the Arcola Detention Pond.
“We were well-positioned this season to take advantage of federal infrastructure funding for water and wastewater projects, as well as for enhancements to our transit system,” said Fougere. “This funding helps stretch property tax dollars even further.”
In total, the City invested $38 million to renew roads and bridges, and improve traffic flow on local streets. Major investments included:
- The Residential Road Renewal Program completed 25.8 kilometres in 73 locations. This program is funded with a dedicated 1 per cent mill rate. A total of $12 million was invested.
- The Street Infrastructure Renewal Program completed 13.48 kilometres in 24 locations. A total of $13.5 million was invested.
- Rehabilitation of both the Ring Road overpass at Victoria Avenue and the Wascana Parkway overpass were completed.
- Paving work on major arteries continued, including Pasqua Street, Albert Street and Broad Street.
- Fifteen new and rehabilitated intersections and six new and rehabilitated pedestrian corridors were completed at a cost of approximately $1.7 million.
- $3.5 million was invested to rebuild and repair sidewalks, curbs and gutters throughout the community.
A total of $50 million was invested in water, wastewater and drainage projects in 2017. Major projects included:
- The Arcola Detention Pond project and local water work was advanced to reduce the risk of surface and basement flooding for the neighbourhood by providing extra drainage system capacity. This involved installing over 500 metres of storm trunk pipe to drain into the detention pond that was completed last year.
- The 5th Avenue North storm sewer is being constructed with the installation of almost 400 metres of storm trunk pipes.
- Work on the Third Sewage Force Main continued. This is a major multi-million dollar project that will reduce the likelihood bypasses to Wascana Creek during heavy rainfall events.
In addition, the City experienced a record number of water main breaks in August and September. In total, there were 349 water main breaks at the end of October. While the City budgeted $2.8 million, it estimates it will spend $4.0 million by year end. Any increase in the budgeted amount will be offset by the Utility Reserve.
“What we went through this summer in terms of water main breaks was incredible,” Fougere said. “Our crews worked tirelessly to ensure our residents were provided with safe drinking water, that priority was given to repairs, and that we pulled our resources from across many departments to get the job done in a timely fashion. This was a great example of a City mobilizing its forces to deal with important infrastructure repairs.”
Along with the typical summer construction work, the City also took steps to improve pedestrian safety in our community through the use of new products and piloted some different road-preservation techniques.
“This season we piloted a number of new innovations to enhance our services, test alternative construction materials and lower our costs,” said Karen Gasmo, Executive Director of Transportation and Utilities.
Gasmo said the pilot projects will be reviewed over time and may be used in future construction work across the community.
Gasmo acknowledged that the City’s ambitious project list meant there were some disruptions that residents had to deal with. “We understand it’s a lot of work in a short amount of time and that our work impacts your daily lives. We thank residents for their patience this past construction season.”
The City also praised employees, who worked through extreme hot and dry conditions to get as much work as possible done on time and on budget.
“We set ambitious goals for our 2017 construction season,” Gasmo noted. “With the support of the dedicated men and women working for the City, we had an extremely successful season, finishing just before the winter buzzer.”