July 24, 2014 Edition of the Times-Herald
Most of us think of summer as a time when things slow down. We can relax a bit more with family and friends, and maybe even get away for a holiday. For the City of Moose Jaw, summer is anything but a slow time of year.
In many cases, temporary staff are hired to support our regular workforce, and as much work and activity as possible is packed into a relatively short outside maintenance and construction season.
Streets, roads and sidewalks are a priority, and crews have been working since early spring to repair winter damage and general wear and tear on city streets. The City has two pothole crews consisting of two employees on each crew repairing potholes with “hot mix” asphalt. The pothole crews follow priority streets similar to snow removal operations — arterials, bus routes, collectors then residential streets. Major potholes are repaired with minor pavement deficiencies to be patched later.
Presently, all Arterial streets have been repaired of major potholes and 25 percent of the Collectors completed. At times though, crews are returning to Arterial and Collector streets to repair potholes where the “cold mix” asphalt used in early spring repairs has failed.
Additional crews will be added to this work with the expected arrival of a new pothole truck tentatively scheduled to be in operation the first week of August. This will allow us to double the production and target residential streets for repairs.
A significant amount of work has taken place so far this summer on replacement of damaged sidewalks and curbs. This was an area of concern to many residents and I’m pleased there has been so much accomplished to date. There is certainly more to do, but good weather this summer has given us a chance to put a significant dent in a much needed area.
The City previously had a backlog of 152 major patches required on streets dug up for water main repairs or hook-ups. Of these 152 backlogged patch locations, 110 have been completed with the expectation that if the weather remains agreeable, the backlog will be cleared and repairs will begin on any excavations done this year.
In addition to potholes and patches, City crews and contractors have rehabilitated seven blocks of pavement and eight more are scheduled to be paved in August. Tenders are being prepared for cast iron water main replacement, major work has started on the East Feeder Line, construction is well underway on the new CPR Dam, and road building has started at the new Hospital site.
This may not be the most exciting column, but as tax payers, you deserve to know how your tax dollars are being spent and what has been accomplished since City Council set infrastructure as our priority.
It has taken our city years to get to the state it currently is in and it will take a few years to rebuild and replace our aging infrastructure. This is just the beginning of what will be a long process. Please be patient with detours and delays. The end result will be well worth it.