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City of Cranbrook looking to undertake Victoria Avenue reconstruction program 

The City is looking to undertake a reconstruction program for both Victoria Avenue and 4th Street North.

City staff said the work would be done between Highway 3/95 and 21st Avenue South.

The City estimates the capital cost for the project would be $37.6 million.

According to city staff, both sections of Victoria Avenue and 4th Street North were identified as emerging high priority infrastructure projects.

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The City said road surfaces are in very poor conditions, sewer capacity along the Victoria Avenue trunk main is near or at full capacity causing upstream backup issues and the water infrastructure is near or beyond its useful lifespan.

City staff offered three options for the project for Council and focus on option three.

Option three would see the project being completed through three phases. City staff said the project would need to be phased over multiple years due to the scale of the upgrades.

Option three would also see the city borrowing less money, with major borrowing limited to Phase 3, while Phase 1 and 2 would use existing budgeted capital funds.

– Phase 1 – 4th St N: Victoria to 16th Avenue – $5.45m

– Phase 2 – Victoria Ave: Hwy 3 to 8th St N – $13.0m

– Phase 3 – Victoria Ave: 8th St N to 21st Ave – $15.5m borrowed

When asked in a Committee of a whole meeting on why work would begin on 4th Street North and not Victoria Avenue, Mike Matejka, Manager of Infrastructure Planning & Delivery Division said more work still needs to be done to make sure the work on Victoria is planned properly.

“We did look very closely on if we could start doing the work on Victoria Avenue this year. It is such a major corridor and the work we are looking at doing is going to be setting the stage for the next 50 to 70 years,” added Matejka.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to go into making sure we are sizing things appropriately and that we are upgrading the infrastructure to where they may need to be upgraded to handle any future growth.”

City staff said benefits of the plan could include more competitive pricing from more qualified contractors, due to the larger construction contract.

The project could also cost the city less money compared to a five-phase project.

“I feel most confidant with option three and part of my thinking on this is that I’m very cognizant of the fact we only have one year left of this council,” said Norma Blissett, City Councillor.

“What I like about option three is that we can use a combination of our roads budget and other funding and that the larger borrowing, that decision will be made by the next council because they are the ones who will have to live with it longer.”

The City noted that a larger construction period required for each phase could provide less flexibility for poor weather or unknown conditions.

Under option three, work on Phase one would begin in 2022, Phase 2 would begin in 2023 and Phase 3 in 2024.

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