Shelley Terry, the interim general manager of public works for the Town, says that originally the Town had planned to pave the area on 50th Avenue from Beckett Road to 45th Street. However, after doing some testing in July, they realized that they cannot do all of it until some additional work is complete.
Along with paving, the Town is also doing sewer, water, and stormwater infrastructure upgrades. A sanitary crossing is being put into place between 46th and 47th streets, and another will be between 45th and 46th streets.
The Town is also planning to extend a sanitary sewer and storm sewer along 50th Avenue from 45th Street to 43rd Street. Four main valves will be replaced along the north side of 50th Avenue, and there will be work done on the manhole at the intersection of 50th Avenue and Beckett Road.
Terry says that at the beginning of any construction project the Town does a test to confirm the crosslinks with existing utilities in the ground below. In the beginning, crews punched holes into the ground through the area to expose Telus, Shaw, and gas lines.
“We had to confirm whether or not they would be the correct depth for the design,” says Terry.
However, in several locations they found that both ATCO Gas and Telus had conflicting lines. This meant that the Town had to reassess and try to come up with a plan that wouldn’t require the relocation of the lines.
“We were able to do that with the fibre lines,” she says.
However, the shallow depth of the gas lines poses a problem for any construction work. Terry says the vibration from working equipment could cause a break in a line. She says crews found one location where the line was located just below the asphalt.
She says ATCO will have to bury their gas lines deeper before construction can begin between 45th Street and Beckett Road.
“They have a year to redesign and figure out proper alignment of their gas lines,” says Terry.
She says the remainder of the work will be taking place in 2024, pending ATCO’s success at their realignment of their lines.
During the school year, Terry says the crews plan to do the construction outside of school hours so there isn’t any disruption to learning.
Summer programs winding down
The summer programming for the Eagle Points Blue Rapids (EPBR) Parks Council may be starting to wrap up, but the organization has events planned for the autumn as well.
Mackenzie Dooper, a summer student working for EPBR, says they are pleased with how the season has gone.
“We’ve had a lot of really great groups and great events happen,” she says.
Their last event, the Around the World Downtown Scavenger Hunt, took place on August 11. The hunt had 60 participants go through the ten clues. Those who completed the hunt had their names entered into a draw. At the end of the event, a name was selected and the winner went home with a gift basket.
Sandra Bannard, the executive director for the council, says they like to offer a variety of events so they can include as many people in the community as they can.
“We do try to focus most of our stuff in the parks… but we realize sometimes people can’t get out to some facilities, so we try to accommodate them by having something a little closer to home,” says Bannard.
Dooper says there are still a few more events planned for August, but there aren’t as big. There is a foraging event planned and they will be at two more of the Brazeau Markets.
However, the planning for the annual Pumpkin Walk is well under way for the group. They are currently looking for sponsors for the event, but the sponsors aren’t the only factor that needs to be planned in advance.
“We are looking for families and businesses, and pretty much anybody we can, who would be willing to donate a carved pumpkin to put on the trail,” says Dooper.
Bannard says they will also be providing their regular educational programming that is offered throughout the school year.
“That’s the bulk of the programming that we do,” she says.
Other than the Pumpkin Walk, EPBR also does a Critter Christmas Tree. Bannard says they invite people to decorate a tree with suet and other food for the birds.
In the past, they hosted a women’s event at the end of August, however, Bannard says staffing changes have made her hesitant to commit to it.
By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Aug 17, 2023