Town report card on roads, sidewalks, drainage

Assessment shows a lot of work needs to be done

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake’s town council got a report on the condition of Slave Lake streets and sidewalks at its Nov. 14 meeting. The news is sobering.

A rep from Associated Engineering laid it out in colourful terms for council and – perhaps no surprise – there’s a lot of fixing to do! Also not surprising is that it will cost many millions.

On the provided map, streets marked in red are judged to be at high risk of failure, yellow indicates medium risk and green low risk. A big chunk of Caribou Trail shows up bright red, as do parts of Main St. 6th Ave. NW, 14th Ave. SW and some residential streets in three of the four quadrants.

Red means bad shape in the engineer’s assessment of Slave Lake streets.
Image courtesy of the Town of Slave Lake.

Associated provided a similar map showing the sidewalks in town colour-coded from green (good) to yellow (fair) to a couple of shades of red (poor and serious). Besides the general condition, there are 92 individual tripping hazards, said Associated’s Chris Parfitt, which should be dealt with regardless of any upgrade schedule.

Drainage: room for improvement

Associated had also done some modeling and come up with a map showing what areas of Slave Lake would be under various depths of water in a one in 100-year flood event. Another map shows the same sort of thing for a one in five-year event. It shows where water would pool – on some streets and of course in the ‘dry’ ponds that exist for that purpose. Plus some other places.

For example, said Parfitt, the Sawridge Mall (no longer called that) would get six to eight inches of water.
“It’s always been a problem,” he said.

Parfitt also predicted that the drainage system as it exists “won’t be able to handle any development on the south side (of Hwy. 2).”

Upgrades to the system were recommended, with estimated costs attached. To get them all done would cost about $7.6 million.

Councillor Steve Adams expressed surprise to find drainage problems in a couple of newer developments. Hard to say how or why that happened, said town Project Manager Kush Patel. Maybe standards were different at the time?

Council accepted the report as information.

The 1:100-year flood scenario for Slave Lake, courtesy of Associated Engineering and the TOSL. It shows weak points in the drainage system.

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