Motorists using Edmonton Trail will note traffic has been reduced to one lane in each direction for a portion of the roadway. According to Glenn Archer, City of Airdrie team leader of water services, installation of new water mains in the area is the cause of the disruption to traffic.
“The water distribution system is how houses (in the city) get water. There’s a grid throughout the whole city of pipes that supply water for fire protection – so they’re connected to the hydrants – for drinking, potable water,” he said. “Best practice is that at every point on that grid…that the water be supplied from two directions.”
Archer said this is referred to as looping. A review of Airdrie’s water distribution system indicated where the system is not looped, typically in some of the city’s older neighbourhoods.
“This is a relatively recent thing. Fifty years ago they didn’t worry about that. If you needed water to your house, they drove a water main up your street and at the last house on the street they just stopped,” Archer said. “You have water and you have fire protection but best practice is that it come from two directions.”
Archer said the area on Edmonton Trail at the end of First, Second and Third Avenues was identified as the most important to retrofit first.
“Those three pipes just end at Edmonton Trail so we’re just tying them all together,” he said.
The underground work should be completed by Aug. 18, according to Archer. Repairing the sidewalks, pavement and the landscaping should be complete by Aug. 25. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in either direction until all the work is complete.
The cost of the project is approximately $390,000 and is funded entirely by the City of Airdrie. Archer said additional projects for retrofitting have been identified and approval for completing the work will come to council for each project over the next five to 10 years.
The city is also moving ahead with roadwork on Yankee Valley Boulevard to convert that main east/west road into a four-lane divided roadway between Chinook Winds Drive and 24 Street S.W.
Newly-constructed eastbound lanes have been completed in the area and opened the week of Aug. 14. Contractors will now demolish the existing lanes of Yankee Valley Boulevard and begin construction of the new westbound lanes. The city estimates the work will take four to six weeks.
During this time, motorists will be expected to obey all posted construction signs and the speed of the roadway will be reduced to 30 kilometres per hour in the construction area.
Bayview Street and Bayside Boulevard will have no access onto Yankee Valley Boulevard during this roadwork and motorists will be required to detour around the construction.