Infrastructure replacements to both sidewalks and power poles will be ongoing in Dawson Creek this week and into next few months.
Motorists and pedestrians have no doubt noticed the sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement taking place on the west side of 8 Street between 90 and 96 Avenues.
“This project is the main one this year for sidewalks,” said Kevin Henderson, director of infrastructure and sustainable development for the City of Dawson Creek.
“That one had been identified and on our list for a number of years on one that needed to be completed, but it was just a matter of when we would have funding targeted for that specific project.”
He said the work began a couple weeks ago with sod cutting, excavation, and gravel compaction, and should wrap up with concrete pouring over the next few weeks.
“Within a couple of weeks the concrete work should be done, and then there’s some landscaping and driveway tie-ins that will need to be done, so two to three weeks and it should be done,” said Henderson.
He said 8 Street may be reduced to single-lane, alternating traffic while the concrete work is ongoing, but the intersecting avenues should remain open unless concrete pouring is taking place at those respective intersections.
The project has an approved budget of $500,000 and is being undertaken by DGS Astro Paving. Henderson said another $51,000 has been budgeted for spot repairs in areas in the downtown core and other places.
“We try to target $400,000 to $500,000 a year in sidewalk replacement and renewal for those big projects, and we have a map showing some key spots we want to look at as we move forward,” he added.
Also, BC Hydro is advising residents of Dawson Creek and Pouce Coupe that crews will be out replacing power poles in the area of the next several months as part of an ongoing, province-wide maintenance program.
“We’re going to replacing about 55 poles in Dawson Creek, Pouce Coupe and area, and that is part of 8,500 wooden poles that are going to be replaced throughout the province,” said BC Hydro spokesperson, Jennifer Young.
“We’ll start digging and setting poles probably starting this week, and it should be done by late September.”
She added the pole replacement program is a factor in BC Hydro’s proposed rate increases of 17 per cent over three years.
“It’s actually fairly routine. These poles have reached the end of their life – 40 years is kind of the typical life of these poles. It’s about the reliability and safety of the power [grid]. Over time, the poles weaken due to weather, insects, birds and other wildlife, so we regularly inspect the old poles and then replace them as necessary.”
Young said the pole replacements will not typically require any interruptions or disconnections to power, but if a planned outage was necessary, customers would be informed through door-to-door or mailed notification.
She added the pole replacement program is not part of BC Hydro’s proposed rate increases of 17 per cent over three years.