On Friday, August 13, the Public Works team provided Council with a tour of the Lanfear Hill shoulder repair project. As we’ve mentioned in previous announcements, our own crew is completing this project (which means we’re both saving money vs. hiring contractors, and we’re giving staff a chance to work on their skills and learn new ones in a bigger project setting than they might normally experience). The current project is forecasted to be under budget; however, we have already announced that an extension of the current Lanfear Hill closure will be required to complete the full scope of the project. Rather than reopening on August 16, the closure will now continue through to August 23.
With an extra week available, the Engineering Department and Roads Crew were contemplating the opportunity to perform additional improvements to a section of the road which is complementary to the original scope of work but not specifically included in Council's April 12, 2021, resolution. These improvements would consist of construction of a lock-block retaining wall at the “pinch” point of Lanfear Drive to further improve the shoulder repairs currently underway.
Seeing the project in person gave Council better perspective for Friday's Special Council Meeting, in which Council authorized this additional work to be completed. The result for drivers and pedestrians will be a wider shoulder (by about half a metre) to allow drivers travelling downhill to position their vehicles closer to the inside corner, thus providing more space for the uphill drivers without them having to get uncomfortably close to pedestrians travelling on the gravel shoulder. Click here to view the report to Council, which includes drawings of the plans.
Council also added in an amendment to the resolution to allow up to $25,000 from the Northern Capital and Planning Grant to do any widening of the sidewalk if possible. Crews have been using two techniques to repair and widen the shoulder back to its original width. The most eroded sections are being repaired with gabion baskets, which are wire cages placed onsite and filled with rocks. These are then covered with gravel to create a walkable surface. The other technique is to use rock fill, which involves removing soil and replacing it with gravel; however, Council expressed the desire for a wider surface in one area where rock fill was used. With the extra $25,000, staff will determine the best option for improving this particular section and can proceed with the repairs without further Council approval.
Check out the photos to see how work is progressing!