Mountain View County Council has given approval to defer road projects for Range Roads 55 and 60 in the McDougal Flats area southwest of Sundre until 2018 to finalize the scope of the project and secure provincial approval.
The project – estimated budget of $2.6 million – proposes to fortify the two roadways (RR 55 and RR 60) to prevent serious road degradation because of annual high river levels during the spring run-off. Part of this project is also to reduce flooding of the south portion of the Sundre Airport runway.
Rationale for the deferral includes:
Awaiting the final engineering report on the project from Matrix Solutions, expected on July 28. The original draft report was revised twice after meeting with the County’s construction consultant.
The County is required to send the final report to Alberta Environment and Parks for final review to ensure the project is eligible to utilize the Flood Recover Erosion Control Program funding the County received from the provincial government. There are also additional approvals required from AEP for the various creek crossing involved in the work.
To get work done before Spring 2018, construction would have to start by early September at the earliest. Considering the approvals still required, the timeline to tender the projects would have been too short to hit the September 2017 target date and would be a challenge to issue before full approval by provincial authorities.
The project is being proposed as mitigation work to deal with seasonal water from the Red Deer River that migrates back into an old channel which directs the water across the two roadways. The river does not have to be in a flood state for the water to flow down this channel as evidenced by the water that flowed over the two roads this spring.
The current road structure and culverts are not sufficient to handle this seasonal water flow without the County either closing the roads annually or repairing them regularly, both of which would be a major inconvenience to regular road users in the area.
The planned upgrades are not necessarily designed to handle the potential flows during an actual flood event.
With a proposed upgrade to RR 55 between the airport and Highway 584 in the works, administration also sees potential for improved pricing on the project by grouping it with the expanded roadworks. A county initiated application to redesignate county owned lands east of the airport for future gravel extraction may influence the scope of the project.
For more information on the deferral, or the proposed project, please contact Ron Baker, Director of Operational Services at 403-335-3311 ext 183 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.