Despite the snow on the ground the planning for the upcoming summer construction season is now underway. Communication is a top priority for the city as they embark on the next phase of the Downtown Rehabilitation Project. Mayor Bill Given says announcing the tenders helps ensure the public and business owners are aware of what stage the city is at and that they are watching the calendar.
“I think one of the things that the community and downtown businesses in particular can expect is a higher level of targeted information more frequently and much earlier in the process.”
The third phase will be in the area of 100 Avenue between 100 Street and 102 Street. Tender for work related to the third phase of construction is now open and will close March 6, 2018. The city says the project itself is meant to modernize the downtown core and upgrade the “streetscape”. The first two phases of the project included the area of 101 Street north to 102 Avenue an d 101 Avenue from the Golden Age Centre to 100 Street.
Along with the modernized look on the street level, infrastructure upgrades are also required underground. The underground pipes running through the area date back to the 1930’s and all of them will be replaced. Mayor Given calls it a “bottom up” project.
“The surface treatment is really the final step and is significant in and of itself but, there is also a huge amount of work that is happening below the surface that people don’t really see or appreciate. You have to remember 100 Street in particular is the oldest area of Grande Prairie and we are literally dealing with the oldest pipes in our city.”
“These are the pipes that remove storm water when we have large rain events.” Given continued, “They also deal with sewage from the businesses that are there. If they break or degrade and emergency repairs are required then it becomes a big problem. So, this really is a preventative maintenance program.”
Phase one and two work wrapped up at the end of November, about a month behind schedule after weather caused several delays for the project. The project was funded by a $20 million MSI grant from the province and an agreement with Aquatera to fund water infrastructure upgrades.