County plans in-house highway intersection treatment

After receiving tenders for the Highway 771 intersection treatment, which Ponoka County council wasn’t prepared to pay

After receiving tenders for the Highway 771 intersection treatment, which Ponoka County council wasn’t prepared to pay, councillors made the decision to have county staff complete the work.

The low bid came in at $800,000 and the high bid totaled $1.8 million. “The typical cost, for a type 2, it’s called, standard intersection treatment is $250,000 to $260,000,” said CAO Charlie Cutforth, who confirmed the numbers with Alberta Transportation.

“As soon as we got these tender results, we said, ‘well look we can do this ourselves with our own crew,’” said Cutforth.

A factor in the inflated cost was the fact that dirt also needed to be transferred to the site. “Costs escalated because there is some truck haul involved,” said Cutforth.

The county also extended construction and pavement further toward Gull Lake, another factor driving the bids, Cutforth explained.

With no timeline set by the province and public works supervisor Herb Schwingel in agreement with the plan, council made a resolution to deny the tenders.

A land developer in the area, anxious to get his pre-sold lots registered, has agreed to a $150,000 contribution for the project. “We’ll look after the rest,” said Cutforth.

However, because of the required involvement of Environment Canada for approval and the concerns regarding marina protection, the project may not commence this year.

Bridge work

The bridge south of Anderson Road is still a temporary bridge structure. In Vancouver, B.C. engineers are working on a portable bridge to cross the tributary of the Blindman River.

A traditional bridge for the crossing could cost up to $1 million and using a portable structure could cut that cost in half.

Once Schwingel and the public works department know more on the state of the portable bridge, the information will be brought before council.

Snow damages fences

Ponoka County has received a few complaints that ratepayers’ fences received damage over the winter from graders piling the snow along them.

Council made the decision to deny requests for fencing repairs at their May 13 meeting. Cutforth says, even in less harsh winter, fence damage by snow is not uncommon to see. “The fact is I don’t know any of us that haven’t had to patch a fence because of the snow cover.

“Where were they going to put the snow, at the end of the day,” asked Coun. Doug Weir. “We just do not want to open Pandora’s Box.

“Where do we start and stop,” Cutforth added.

Reeve Paul McLauchlin added the graders worked hard to distribute the snow evenly and not impair any one person over another.