2015 will be another big construction year for the Town of Slave Lake. $11million will be spent on roads, sidewalks and underground infrastructure. Most of this will still be part of 4 year recovery project to fix the SE. This will be the third year of that project and perhaps the most significant as a bulk of the work and a large amount of inconvenience will be experienced this summer. Construction is expected to start in the next few weeks as the weather has been hugely co-operative. We hope that Mother Nature continues to co-operate with us, but some rain is really needed out there as well and we can’t have everything so we will see what happens.
As we fix a lot of the streets in the SE it became apparent that we needed to fix some old water lines and sewer lines under the road as well while we were digging it up. This will happen in front of some of your homes at the end of your driveways as well. We will dig up old lines, cap them off, install new ones, refill, redo our base, put in new pavement and then finish with some new concrete on edges and sections of new sidewalks. Although having new infrastructure is really nice to have, it’s a pain to live with during the construction season and nobody enjoys it. As you can well imagine, this construction will not be done overnight and instead will last the entire season taking us into October. So how are we going to deal with it all? First we split it into chunks. We have a schedule and phased approach to the construction. During this time, there may be a few weeks where you can’t park in your own driveway. Although this sucks, with a big hole in the ground in front of your house, without a helicopter it’s going to be hard to do.
So how as residents are we supposed to deal with this? We have come up with alternate parking locations as close to your homes as possible. Last year we also used a gator (basically a side by side) that helped us get people and there items (children, groceries, parcels) etc. into their homes. This would be a good time to make alternate arrangements for boats, holiday trailers and utility trailers if you will need them. The Town understands how inconvenient this is, but unfortunately it has to be done. Success or failure during this project will largely depend on Mother Nature and our own levels of patience. If you want to find out more about how this affects you please check out our construction maps online or feel free to come down to the town office on Thursday April 23 and check out the open house from 5-7pm. There will be maps, charts and staff on site to help answer any questions and do our best to deal with any concerns. As the season gets going feel free to contact our construction hotline at 780-843-6822 and let them know of any issues you are having.
Now if you don’t live in the SE you are probably sick of hearing about the recovery work and want to know when we are getting back to dealing with your streets and sidewalks. The short answer is possibly next year. The landscape and priorities have change since the fire in regards to what areas we do next. The truth is we are not sure what areas need more priority than others. So council budgeted money to go out and get assessment done on all our roads, sidewalks, water lines and sewer lines. This will help us develop a plan and start working towards the funding. Although the areas are funded by Federal and provincial government funds, the rest of the town is not and we never seem to have enough money to do all that everyone wants. This leaves us finding creative ways to get things done.
So the result 2015 is going to be busy, we need to be patient, and at times it’s going to be frustrating. For the rest of the town, we have not forgotten about you and we are working on a plan. The end result is the town is getting better, things are getting done, and we are forever moving forward.