Work at Yale Street is still ongoing. And while some Hope residents are assuming the worst, the District of Hope says that the delay is simply due to the poor weather affecting work conditions.
Last week on the Hope BC Bulletin Board Facebook group, Jon Nigh, a member of the group, made a post asking why construction on Yale Street had yet to be completed. The post resulted in heated speculation about the delay, adding to existing rumours that the unfinished work was due to mistakes made during the previous months. However, according to the District of Hope, construction is temporarily halted due to the cold weather creating conditions that aren’t ideal for Jakes Construction Ltd. — the contractor hired to handle the work — to pour concrete and asphalt.
“We want to make sure the finishing [for the road] lasts long term and it was just getting too close to winter,” said Mayor Victor Smith. “And we didn’t realize that there were stumps and trees, and other stuff in the ground, that needed to be removed.
“They all had to be taken out. Because we want to get it right and we don’t want the road caving in as time goes on.”
In an email to the Standard, the District of Hope said there were also additional challenges which were only discovered when the work began. This included:
• Existing utilities in the ground (gas/water/sewer/stormwater) that conflicted with new utilities. This included the way the previous utilities were set up, which made connecting new piping more challenging. The discovery of the existing utilities also resulted in work being done to investigate pipe locations.
• Design changes that resulted from challenges in ensuring that existing driveways and existing sewer services would connect to the new utilities.
• Additional utility work on Thacker Avenue
In the same email, the District’s Chief Administrative Officer John Fortoloczky also cleared up rumours about the delay being due to pipes and gas lines being laid wrong in Yale Street.
“There were conflicts discovered with existing utilities, including gas, water, sewer and stormwater however the existing pipes were not laid wrong,” Fortoloczky said. “Conflicts can occur when records, of where pipes are shown to be, are inconsistent with where they actually exist.”
In late January, the District announced on their Facebook page that due to the poor working conditions, caused by the weather, construction would resume “as early as possible in the spring with an estimated start date of April 3.” The project still has a remaining 2.5 months of work which includes “completing the concrete curbing, road base preparations and paving” as well as minor work on the sewage system in the area.
The District estimates that the project will be completed in June.
Last summer, the District said that work between Stuart Street and 7th Avenue would be happening between June and November 2022. The revamp, which is costing the District $2 million, is designed to a “collector road standard” and focuses on prioritizing “active transportation.”
The improvements include: intersection improvements, curb extension installation at intersections, stormwater management improvements, water system replacement, sanitary system replacement, full depth reclamation of the existing road structure, an additional road structure to widen the corridor to include 3.5 m lanes, a 2.4 m parking lane, crube and gutter 2 m raised concrete sidewalk and boulevard and driveway restoration.
READ MORE: Construction on Yale Street in Hope about to begin
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