City crews can be seen working around Salmon Arm streets during the spring weather, with paving one of the more recent focuses. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

COVID-19 helps Salmon Arm paving program cover more ground

Bids lower likely because of lower oil prices

Your street may be getting paved with a little help from COVID-19.

The tender prices for Salmon Arm’s asphalt overlay program came in about 25 per cent lower this year than in 2019, with the pandemic believed to have contributed to lower oil prices.

“I suspect that the lower than normal oil prices may have had something to do with this,” said director of engineering Rob Niewenhiuzen of the low bid.

“This will in turn allow our budget to go further and we will be able to do some additional paving.”

Okanagan Aggregates, which has successfully completed Salmon Arm’s paving program over the last three years, won the contract with a low bid of $1.263 million. The city has $1.4 million allocated to the paving program in the 2020 budget.

In the past few weeks, projects already completed include: Taxiway Charlie at the Salmon Arm Airport and 60th Street NW from Christison Road to 500 metres north.

Projects underway include: 60th Street SE from 10th Avenue SE to Okanagan Avenue and the Marine Park parking lot.

Read more: Downtown Salmon Arm’s paving extravaganza remains on schedule

Read more: Salmon Arm’s paving, pothole patching programs to begin in May

Other projects which are listed on the image attached to this article will be scheduled for later in the summer. Niewenhuizen said a portion of Foothill Road may also be paved.

He explained that depending on the actual tonnage of asphaltic concrete and other costs, the overlay program will be increased or reduced in order to take maximum advantage of available funds.

Niewenhuizen also reported that the city will be closely monitoring the program.

“Provisions once again have been implemented in this year’s contract to enhance project scheduling, workmanship and communications. Stricter deadlines have been outlined and will be enforced. Fletcher Paine and Associates will be working closely with the City of Salmon Arm ensuring the best product is being received; and the testing/penalty clauses have been reviewed and altered as required.”


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