By Tim Kalinowski
Sewer problems in Redcliff have forced council to revise its capital spending priorities for the upcoming year.
In order to cope with higher than expected costs of repairing the Sanitary Main Realignment upstream of the Broadway Court Lift Station and the Sanitary Diversion on Main Street South and 6th Avenue, council voted last Tuesday to put off the traffic light project on Mitchell Street and Broadway Avenue and divert those funds toward the sewer projects instead.
The town received three tenders to complete the work, and accepted the lowest offer from Porter Tanner for a total of $475,025.98.
According to two engineering studies commissioned on the Sanitary Main Realignment and Broadway Court Lift Station projects the work is required to fix sagging and broken sections of the sewage pipes and divert some of the sewage flow into secondary pipes to reduce stress on the main system.
Arlos Crofts, municipal manager for Redcliff, says it is the location of these pipes which has greatly inflated the costs of the repairs on the two projects. Council had initially budgeted out $253,000 for the work; thus there is a shortfall of over $227,000 between the initial budget price and the lowest tendered offer.
“In relation to the Broadway Court lift station, the lines are actually quite deep,” explains Crofts. “Because they are so deep and they are working in tight spaces between properties, we have to directional drill and it becomes more expensive. And because you are dealing with live infrastructure, the sewer has to keep flowing, we have to provide for that. And that costs.”
Crofts says in the end no new capital money will be allocated for the repairs.
“We are working within the envelope of money we have. But the lowest tender was over our capital budget price so council has decided to defer another project in order to have enough funds to complete this project. So overall the capital budget for the year is the same, but council has reprioritized the projects.”