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County of Barrhead replaces Naples Road reconstruction project

Councillors authorize the municipality to enter into agreements with landowners that will allow the municipality go ahead with an over $400,000 road reconstruction
County of Barrhead infrastructure director Ken Hove told councillors during their May 7 meeting that public works found a project that will partially replace the Naples Road reconstruction project after the municipality could not sign enough agreements with area landowners for potential burrow materials.

BARRHEAD - County of Barrhead councillors found, at least in part, a replacement for the Naples Road reconstruction project.

On May 7, councillors authorized the municipality to enter into agreements with several landowners for compensation for crop damages, landscape and borrow pits, and fencing replacements relating to the reconstruction of roughly two miles or 3.2 km of Range Road 50 north of Township Road 580 and south of Highway 654.

The entire project, including the cost of the above agreements, is estimated at $429,000.

A borrow pit, also known as a sandbox, is an area where material (usually soil, gravel or sand) is dug to use at another location.

Infrastructure director Ken Hove said this is one of the roads public works staff identified as needed to replace the Naples Road reconstruction project.

In early March, councillors voted 6-1 to cancel the road project that would have rebuilt approximately eight kilometres of Range Road 25, or Naples Road, from Highway 18 to Township Road 605 to a high-grade gravel road. They opted to take it off the county's 2024 road reconstruction project list after the municipality failed to secure agreements with enough residents along the roadway for enough suitable pit material. Coun. Paul Properzi, whose division the project falls in, was opposed. 

"We reached out to all the owners of the quarter sections along the route, and nine [out of 14] supported the project," infrastructure director Ken Hove said at the March 15 council meeting. "[Only] five would agree to contribute dirt to the project, but the landowners are considering all landscape burrows and the volumes aren't very big."

Work on the project is scheduled to begin in early June, weather permitting.

Bridge repair

Councillors also awarded a $92,000 contract to Bridgemen Services Ltd, based in Didsbury, to repair bridge 70370 on Range Road 51.

Hove said that the project is expected to cost about $126,000 when engineering costs are factored in.

The municipality set aside $210,000 in the 2024 capital budget for the project.

"It is a standard bridge built in 1968," he said, adding staff identifies substructure issues were identified several years ago. "The overall structure rating of the bridge is good, making it a good candidate for repairs rather than replacement. 

Due to the issues, public works placed load restrictions on the bridge in 2020.

The municipality received four bids for the project, the lowest being the previously mentioned Bridgemen Services and the highest Access BridgeWorks Inc. from St. Albert.

Hove said the municipality applied for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) funding to offset the cost of repairs in 2022 and 2023, but the province rejected their applications because the bridge's overall rating was too high.

The province created STIP to help municipalities solve their infrastructure deficit, boost the economy, and create jobs as part of its response to the coronavirus. The program allows municipalities to receive 75 per cent of the funding for approved infrastructure projects.

"To avoid further load restrictions or total closure, council decided to allocate funding for the project entirely from its coffers," Hove said.

Barry Kerton,

Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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