The Town of Swan Hills Operations Department has been hard at work this summer making repairs and improvements around Swan Hills. The Grizzly Gazette spoke with John Gibbons, Director of Operations for the Town of Swan Hills, for an update on which projects the Town has been and will be working on over the summer.
D&H Concrete Services Ltd, contractors specializing in concrete repairs and general excavation, began removing and replacing damaged sidewalks and curbs in 18 locations around Swan Hills last week. The repair sites were identified and prioritized as potential safety and tripping hazards for pedestrians. This project is anticipated to be completed by Wednesday, July 27. This work is weather-dependent, so heavy rain could delay the completion of the project.
One of the concrete sites being worked on is the sidewalks and swale on the east side of the 4-way stop at the corner of Pan Am St. and Centennial Cres. The sidewalks and curbs for this side of the intersection have been replaced as well as the swale (a feature to manage and convey stormwater runoff) connecting them. While the concrete aspects of the intersection will be completed along with the rest of the concrete repair project, the pavement will be repaired when contractors specializing in asphalt arrive in mid-August.
Town employees will also be working on asphalt crack sealing, focusing on the rougher areas in town with the worst break-up. Sealing cracks in the asphalt helps to lengthen the service life of the roads by reducing the amount of water that can seep in. When winter comes and the temperatures drop below freezing, any water that has seeped into the asphalt will freeze and expand, causing more damage to the road.
The Town has innovated its approach to crack sealing by adjusting its equipment. Before applying the sealant, a crack in the asphalt must be cleared out of debris or loose material. Previously, all of the equipment for the entire job was on a single unit, which in turn meant that all the steps involved had to be completed sequentially for each crack before moving on to the next. Now, the wand and air compressor for clearing out the cracks is on a separate truck from the sealing equipment, allowing for a faster and more efficient process.
Supply chain issues continue to interfere with the installation of a new generator at the Reservoir. The concrete pad that will support the generator was completed in late May, but the delivery of the generator itself has been delayed multiple times and is now expected on August 24. The Town recently met with the project engineers, and a plan is now in place to complete as much of the project as possible in advance of the generator’s arrival to streamline its installation. As much as possible, the generator components will be installed as they arrive.
Supply chain issues have also delayed the installation of a new condenser at the arena by about a month. The new condenser is now expected for mid-August. The Town plans to start generating ice at the arena a month early to work out any potential “bugs in the system” before opening up for public use.
This summer will be a busy one for the Town and Town employees. The Grizzly Gazette would like to thank the Operations Department for their diligence and dedication in maintaining and improving the Town of Swan Hills.
Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette