© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
A street sweeper makes its way through Prince Albert this week. The city's annual street sweeping program is expected to finish on Wednesday, though additional sweeps of arterials and Central Avenue are expected.
Despite weather giving them a tough go of things, the city remains committed to completing its $4-million asphalt paving program and patching all its potholes.
Rainfall has claimed 31 out of the 55 of the cityâs paving days so far this season, public works acting director Wes Hicks said, noting, âThatâs 57 per cent of the time itâs been raining.â
âAs it stands now, weâve completed about 21 per cent of our schedule, but weâre about 35 per cent of the way into the season.â
Although theyâre behind things at this stage, Hicks anticipates seeing dryer conditions for the balance of the paving season, which typically caps off with the Thanksgiving Day long weekend.
âOur goal is still to get all of the jobs done,â Hicks said. âIf something doesnât get done on this yearâs list, it will be added to the top of next yearâs list.â
While crews from B&B Asphalt take on the cityâs asphalt paving program civic crews have been overtasked with annual road repairs.
Although there are a typical number of potholes, Hicks reports a record number of water main and service connection breaks, which at 127 is about 100 greater than last year.
On Monday, city council approved the one-time hiring of a private contractor to patch the road and sidewalk damage caused by these breaks, as well as landscaping repairs.
As it stands now, weâve completed about 21 per cent of our schedule, but weâre about 35 per cent of the way into the season. Wes Hicks
Council consented to an expense up to $170,000, plus the cost of concrete, which was not finalized in time for Mondayâs meeting.
âOur crews are busy trying to attack those, but there are more than we can handle, and this late in the day we thought it prudent to get a contractor involved to assist us in a one-time effort so we can get them done before the season is out,â Hicks explained.
âThese breaks make very large repair jobs, and they become so large that weâre not in the paving business, so we have to call in the pavers to help us.â
Hicks anticipates seeing all water main and service connection break damages to be repaired by the end of the season.
In other roadways-related news, the citywide street sweeping program was expected to be completed by today (Wednesday).
Additional sweeps are expected to take place down the cityâs major arterials and Central Avenue as needed.