Second Avenue construction expected to be finished in May

April 18, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Road and infrastructure construction that was begun last year is under way again on Second Avenue between First Street and Third Street and is currently expected to be completed by late May.

The Avenue is currently closed to traffic except for residents, with construction materials including water main pipes blocking the entrance to the street.

Construction was supposed to start last spring but was delayed.

The project was the second part of a plan to repair both First and Second Avenues, however, at the time it was determined that First Avenue was in a worse state of repair and needed to taken care of first. That part of the project was completed in 2017.

“About every five years we do what we call a road needs study,” explained Doug Jones, Town of Orangeville general manager of infrastructure services. “The intent of that study is to evaluate the condition of all of the town’s roads and access them using a consistent set of criteria.”

After assessment, some roads may be considered to be in good shape and won’t need improvements for several years while others are showing wear and need attention sooner. 

“When we did the last study, both First Avenue and Second Avenue were identified, and First Avenue was a higher priority. First Avenue was done and Second Avenue came later as that’s when it was due in the roster of projects when we got the allocation of funds from council,” Mr. Jones explained. 

The work on Second Avenue was scheduled to be completed in 2018 but was delayed when the contractor had scheduling problems.

“Second Avenue was a 2018 capital project,” Mr. Jones explained. “We had the design work completed and it went out to tender in the late spring of 2018. The contractor did not get started on the project as quickly as we had hoped. They had some other commitments they were trying to wrap up so they could bring the appropriate crews and equipment here to work. So they did get started later than we thought. 

“There were some others issues such as weather slowing us down as well as a bit more rock underground than we thought. As the year wore on and the project wore on there needed to be a decision made between the consulting engineer overseeing the project, the contractor and the town, as to whether we went ahead. You reach a point where you say ‘are we going to strip the asphalt off of this block?’ When you are doing a reconstruction or replacing water mains and sewers, the first thing you do is dig up the asphalt. Once you do that you’re committed.” 

The decision was made to stop the project and resume in this spring rather than risk running into problems when the weather got colder. 

The Second Avenue project includes replacing water mains, sanitary sewer lines, storm sewer lines, and catch basins. It’s a full reconstruction including new street lights and buried service lines.

“When we’re preparing a capital budget we are looking at both the condition of the road as well as the condition of the underground services in terms of timing which projects should come when to optimize the expenditure of funds,” Mr. Jones said. 

“You don’t want to replace water mains and sewers that have 20 years of life left in them but you don’t necessarily want to create a brand new road over top of them because you may be in a situation where if they don’t quite last the 20 years, you’re going in and taking out that road prematurely. We try and match up the needs of the underground services with the roads to really optimize our expenses.”

The construction crew did complete work at the intersections of Second Avenue and First Street and Second Avenue and Second Street last year so they are now focused on Second Avenue without blocking any traffic on the north / south streets.

The project should by finished by the end of May.

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