After close to seven years of residents driving on gravel roads, Cranbrook councillor Tom Shypitka thinks the city should step up and pave two streets in the Pinecrest neighbourhood.
After tearing up 27A and 29th avenues and replacing underlying infrastructure years ago, the city opted not to repave the two roads and left them as gravel laneways.
It’s long past time for the city to fix it, argued Shypitka, during Monday’s regular council meeting.
“The residents have been there for the last seven years with gravel roads and I don’t think that’s our mandate as council to remove and not to replace or resurface,” Shypitka said.
Shypitka kicked off the debate as city council approved $14 million in spending for the 2017 capital projects program, which includes full reconstruction and resurfacing projects.
For full reconstruction, 2nd St. South from the Highway 3 to 14th Ave is the highest priority, with road, sanitary and storm sewer work replacement needed. Anderson Crescent is the second full reconstruction priority again with both road, water and were infrastructure replacement required.
As far as resurfacing goes, roads in the industrial park, College Way and 7th St. South from 27th Ave to 34th Ave are first in line for new pavement.
All told, there are 17 priority projects; six full reconstruction projects and 11 resurfacing projects. A further seven resurfacing projects are classified as optional.
According to the capital plan, 27A Ave and 29th Ave are last on that optional priority list.
“They pay [taxes] just as much as anybody else and they’ve been sitting in the lowest part of the priority list for the last seven years, they haven’t had anything done, we actually didn’t even do any gravelling,” Shypitka said.
“We saved the taxpayers $400,000 on those projects alone, and I just fail to see the relevance in saying that this is just an anomaly. They’ve got a large land area as they front on the front and back but there are a lot of people on 27A that have driveways on that road. There are people on 29th Ave who have driveways on that road, who pay twice as many taxes because they have have a larger land area for their residences.”
Shypitka introduced a motion to have the two projects moved up higher on the optional priority list, however, it was defeated.
CAO Dave Kim noted that it’s council’s discretion to move projects around on the priority list, but if one project is bumped up, another one falls down.
“Through a notice of motion, you can shift the priorities, but please know that once you bring one project up the priority list, another one will go down,” Kim said. “At the end of the day, the projects that you are seeing are high priority, so one way or another, we’ll get to it.”
Complicating the matter of repaving those two streets in the Pinecrest neighbourhood are storm sewer issues that need to be upgraded in order to protect a potential investment of new asphalt, explained Mike Matejka, the city’s project manager.
“If those projects were undertaken this year, we would budget for some storm upgrades, which would mostly be able to handle the overland flow that has happened in that area,” Matejka said.
“Right now, given the type of cross-section we have, that would mean improved ditching and culverts across the accesses, making sure all the water that does come across those properties going downhill would be intercepted by these ditches and lead to an existing storm sewer that’s on 3rd St.
“Some of those driveways don’t have culverts, some of those driveways have a poor excuse for a culvert so we would look at upgrading those ditches and culverts along those accesses on the high side of the road so that we don’t see that water sheeting across the roads or across the roads and into the lower properties.”