Imperfect roadways are a fact of life in Canada, but repairs are moving along nicely in the Meadow Lake paving department this summer, according to city manager Diana Burton.
Burton said there are two major paving projects the city works on from year to year. One is asphalt recapping, when areas of worn or cracked pavement are replaced. The other is utility patching, which occurs when the infrastructure beneath the road needs maintenance or replacement, such as water and sewer lines. Many streets in the city have gotten recapped, with the biggest stretch being on Second Ave. West.
City crews are currently working on the area of Cochin Avenue, after the storm sewer had to be replaced last summer, Burton said.
“It went through a couple yards on Cochin Avenue and up and down Sixth Avenue,” she said. “The plan was this year to pave that. All of Cochin Avenue is getting done, there's two blocks of Third Street W., one block of Fourth St. W, and three-quarters of a block on Second Street West and Sixth Avenue that’s all dug up and getting replaced.
The city has been using a variety of communications channels over the summer months to keep residents of the city up to date about the paving projects, such as written notices to people in the affected areas, posting no-parking signs on those streets, and the use of social media channels.
“Especially with large paving projects, we need people’s cooperation to not park on the streets and the like,” Burton said. “We find social media to be a good tool because of its ability to reach a large number of people, so not only does anybody who likes this City of Meadow Lake’s [Facebook] page get to see it, but people can easily share it.
Road conditions seem to be a popular topic around the city, and Burton said the city is doing its best to be efficient, fair and objective when assessing city plans. City staff take into account several factors including traffic volumes, typical bussing and emergency routes, and shape of the infrastructure under the roads.
“Generally the reaction is that people are more happy when we do work like this because it that the roads are getting fixed,” she said. “A 30-second detour can be a headache, but isn’t too much to get some better shape roads.”
She added that if residents of the city have questions, they are always welcome to contact city hall.
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