Paving of Grand Forks’ 22nd Street will wait until next year

The project is at the top of the docket for next year after Grand Forks city council gave early budget approval.

Grand Forks residents won’t bee seeing new paving on 22nd Street this year in a cost saving measure, but can rest assured the project is at the top of the docket for next year after council gave early budget approval.

At the Sept. 6 meeting of council, councillors heard a report from the manager of development and engineering that noted that due to costs and weather conditions, the best course of action is to hold the paving process until 2017.

The paving project was originally raised at the July 18 meeting of council by Councillor Christine Thompson, with the intent of bringing the project into the 2016 capital expenditures budget. Thompson said she had been hearing significant dissatisfaction from residents on the quality of the road. At the Sept. 6 meeting, Thompson noted that because of the late date, it is now better to wait.

“I believe the pavers have probably come and gone for this year, and so if we were to persist that this project be completed this year it would be very expensive,” Thompson said.

“If this street can be prioritized for the 2017 paving program and it could be completed as early in 2017 as reasonably possible, I would accept that.”

Council had asked for a report on the feasibility and cost estimates of bringing the project for ward to this year. An estimate for the overlay in 2016 is $350,000. Staff noted in the report that method of applying overlay rather than milling and replacing the whole road or embarking on a multi-utility project has worked well and stood up to time in other areas.

According to the memo, should council ask staff to move forward with requesting proposals, the late construction start date (likely the end of September) would also impact on the quality of the asphalt due to lower temperatures.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Doug Allin said the best prices for paving come early in the season.

“What would be ideal is for council to provide early budget approval, so we can … get the contractors when they are first starting their season,” Allin said. “We will get a more favourable price than this time of year, when everyone wants to pave last minute.”

Staff noted that design and tender work can proceed early in 2017. Council gave early budget approval and marked it a priority for next year.