Road repairs needed

More roads in Swift Current will be improved this construction season through the use of a revised approach that uses a lighter surface treatment.

Councillors approved a change order to the 2020 asphalt and concrete contract during a regular council meeting that took place via video conference, June 15.

The change order provides an additional $763,730 (PST included, GST excluded) to the contractor to complete over 20 blocks of major roadways during this road construction season through the use of a revised approach.

Council awarded the $2.6 million asphalt and concrete contract for 2020 to Mobile Paving Ltd. in April. The size of that contract was smaller than originally planned due to the COVID-19 public health restrictions and the uncertain nature of the 2020 construction season.

The City therefore decided not to spend the entire $4.1 million for this year’s asphalt and concrete program, but to defer $1.5 million to 2021. However, it became clear that more work will be required this year to address the deterioration of city streets.

Mitch Minken, the City’s general manager of infrastructure and operations, said the last few winters were harsh and the freeze-thaw cycles caused a rapid decline in the inspection ratings of roads.

“Primarily we're attributing it to weather,” he noted. “I mean, it's just age as well. Some of these roadways haven't been touched in a while. So a combination of age, traffic and weather.”

The City therefore decided to use a change order to amend the asphalt and concrete contract with Mobile Paving Ltd. to add $763.730 from the funds that were deferred to 2021.

“The overwhelming amount of patching has already exhausted the 2020 maintenance budget,” he said. “The Engineering Department explored a revised approach to address the increased number of roadways requiring repair to improve the condition of the major roadway assets. A priority list focusing on collector and arterial roadways was established from a recent pavement assessment.”

This lighter surface treatment will consist of a 50 millimetres mill and fill on the driving lanes of collector and arterial roads.

“Previously, we would have done the entire roadway, right from curb to curb,” he explained. “In this approach, we're leaving the parking lanes intact. We're going to mill just the driving lanes and we'll put a 50 millimetres lift on there. So take out 50 millimetres, put a fresh 50 millimetres in the driving lane to smooth out any rutting and any potholes or failures that are there.”

A new roadway will typically have two layers of 50 millimetres each, but with this revised approach only the top layer will be replaced.

“If we start right from scratch its usually made up of two 50-millimetre layers,” he said. “We put down what we call a bottom lift or a bottom layer, and wait some time for things to settle out. Then we put a second 50-millimetre layer on, what we call the levelling course, and once we put that top layer on it's a lot more stable and we're usually good for 25 to 30 years or more with that.”

According to Minken this revised approach with the new 50 millimetres top layer will extend the life of a road with 15 to 20 years.

“Except we won't have done the parking lanes,” he said. “So they'll continue to deteriorate, but there's a lot less traffic going on in those parking lanes. So they should stand up well.”

The use of the revised approach will have a cost saving, which he estimated will be at least 40 per cent compared to the standard approach.

Council approves permit application for daycare centre:

Council approved an application for a daycare centre at a downtown location during the June 15 regular council meeting.

Natural Wonders Early Learning Centre submitted the development permit application to establish a daycare centre at 406 Cheadle Street West at the corner of 4th Avenue NW, which is within the central downtown district.

A daycare centre is a discretionary use within this area and formal approval from council was therefore required.

City General Manager of Planning and Development Marty Salberg said the review of the application by City staff was completed and he recommended the approval of the application by council.

“Any proposed discretionary use requires council to consider whether the proposed use conforms to the zoning bylaw’s site regulations and development standards, will not be a source of nuisance or endanger the public, and will not impede the orderly development of the surrounding property,” he noted. “Additional procedures for public consultation are also required to assist council in making their decision.”

All assessed property owners within a 75-metre radius of the proposed daycare received public notices about the application, the notice was posted on the City website, and it was also advertised in a local newspaper.

There was a public hearing for this application at a previous council meeting, but no presentations were made. The City Clerk received one written submission in support of the proposed daycare.

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