The City of Grande Prairie is looking for a solution to a new problem on 68th Avenue. This spring, the dips made in the road for drainage have sunk even further, creating a bumpy ride for drivers.
Capital Planning and Construction Manager Matt Hinton says they are working with the consultant and geotechnical engineers to figure out what is causing the issue. They believe it might be related to parts of the road freezing at different rates.
“On either side of the trenches where the catch basins are right now, where the storm lines are, the original material there is different from what happened over the pipes that were put in,” Hinton says. “So the different types of material acts differently in the winter time when it freezes and it causes differential movement.”
Work twinning the stretch from 108 Street to Poplar Drive took two construction seasons instead of one, due to poor weather and unexpected setbacks. It officially reopened in the fall of 2017, and residents immediately noticed the rolling dips designed for storm water.
“It collects the water and takes it to the catch basins, which takes it underground to the creek,” Hinton explains. “What’s happening in the spring right now with the areas at the bottom of the dips, there’s an extra little dip, and that’s what the banging is as you drive over it.”
Hinton says that in road construction, there’s always a chance that materials will react differently to the elements, but it’s hard to tell by how much ahead of time. Once an action plan is made, it will be brought before a city committee.
“We are aware of the situation; we’re monitoring it and trying to come up with a solution to fix it,” Hinton assures.
The 68th Avenue twinning project ended up costing $8.8 million, while the eastbound bridge cost $6.9 million.