Rushing to beat the snow

By Kyle Reid | The Pearl

A long and tricky construction season is slowly ending in Mount Pearl, but snowfall and inclement weather is fast approaching as contractors race to meet deadlines to finish projects. Weather concerns regarding ongoing construction projects were raised during Tuesday evening’s regular meeting of council. The meeting featured another light agenda with few motions brought forward. Committee reports dominated much of the decision making portion of the meeting. Deputy Mayor Jim Locke, co-chair of the Infrastructure and Public Works Committee, tabled an update for his colleagues on a number of construction projects now cluing up throughout the city. During the report, Locke explained that while most projects are concluding in the City at the time of the meeting, a few projects are still ongoing. In particular, Locke said that projects to install new light poles on Blackmarsh and Topsail Road, as well as a crosswalk project at the top of Mount Carson Avenue, are still underway and expected to be finished in the coming weeks. The deputy mayor also noted that the construction project on Sunrise Avenue

is only approximately 3040 per cent complete, but work will resume again next spring as planned. However, contractors are rushing to get the area re-paved before winter weather comes into full swing and snowplows hit the pavement. “There are plans to get all the holes and trenches filled in and the goal is to have pavement down by the winter,” said Locke. “I wonder if we’re rolling the dice a little bit?” responded Mayor Dave Aker. “I don’t mean us, the City, but the contractor trying to get it done.” In discussion, the mayor and deputy mayor determined that snow would not be cleared in the area until pavement is laid, but Councillor Andrew Ledwell expressed a similar concern to the mayor’s. “I did have a little bit of concern in terms of all of this work going on this late in the season,” said Ledwell. “I appreciate that the contractors are working hard to make this happen and reach the goal to have this completed by the end of the season…I fear we’re getting towards the end of the season and we could run into problems.” However, the deputy mayor noted that the contractor tasked with the upgrade project happening on Sunrise, Weir’s Construction, does own their own asphalt plant and wouldn’t be

delayed in paving by other plants closing for the winter. “They’re working diligently, like you said, to get the (project finished) for this year and then there will be further work in the spring,” said Locke. “What time in the spring? I guess that will depend on the weather and when they can get the work started.” As for the projects at the Blackmarsh and Topsail Road intersection, and the crosswalk at the top of Mount Carson, the deputy mayor declared his confidence that projects will be completed on time. “Within the next couple of weeks, Councillor Ledwell, you should see (those) completed,” said Locke. “And that’s not weather dependant,” said Aker, referring to traffic lights on Blackmarsh and Topsail Road. “You can have a bad frost and a bad snowfall, not in all weather, but quite often you can put them in with the snow on the ground.” Gerard Antle, director of

infrastructure and public works, chimed in noting that planned additions to concrete islands may further complicate the matter on Blackmarsh and Topsail, but explained that the work can still be completed as long as there isn’t a bad frost. Antle also noted that Sunrise Avenue is expected to be partially paved towards the end of Nov., and fully paved by early to late Dec. “I guess the fear, if I could use that word, and I don’t want to exaggerate — the fear is that (contractors) don’t have control over the weather,” said Aker. “I look at a week like this week — it’s going to be challenging to get a lot of pavement done.” “I do note that late Nov. last year they were paving on Blackmarsh Road,” the mayor added. “I guess we’ll just have to keep an eye on it because we do want to make sure that the work that’s done is of high quality.”

Posted on November 22, 2018 .