Mayor Iveson passes along industry’s idea for better road construction

A file photo of road construction. Billy Shields/Global News File

Mayor Don Iveson is having city staff look into whether there’s a better way to do road construction in Edmonton.

What he has in mind is completely closing a road when it’s under construction to shorten the amount of time traffic is impacted. That would be instead of closing only one side to allow traffic to squeeze through – and then the other side – over a longer period of time.

“I was talking about this with someone who’s in the construction business and does this and they said to me, ‘You know, we’d probably be able to do things faster [with] less disruption [and] maybe better pricing because the equipment wouldn’t be sitting idle so much if we could just get in there and close it, attack it and get it done,’ Iveson said Tuesday. “Then there’d be short-term pain, but longer-term gain.
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“[I don’t know] whether we can just rip the Band-Aid [off and] do the work, if it saves us money? If we talk to citizens about a weekend of pain so it’s pain-free the rest of the summer? Maybe that’s a good trade-off? And maybe it’s good value for money.”

READ MORE: Edmonton road crews scramble to finish work before the snow flies

The mayor acknowledged there’s some risk and reward to the idea. A street could get closed and weather could keep it that way for longer than expected.

“People ask about that too,” Iveson said. “‘Why is nothing happening here?’ Well, it’s because everyone is waiting for the cement to dry. So let’s just pour all the cement, get it done, let it dry and open the road again.

“It’s just looking at whether there’s a more efficient and effective way that we can do these paving jobs that reduce the disruption for everybody involved. And maybe it’s super disruptive for a weekend – or a week even – and then it’s done and life goes on.”

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Iveson admitted in some cases – like the closure this summer of 72 Avenue – motorists will have to find alternate routes around the construction area.

The mayor has also asked about construction crews working later into the evening.

Answers to his inquiry will come back sometime after the election on Oct. 16.

Watch below: On Oct. 14, 2016, Fletcher Kent filed this report as a few Edmonton construction projects were up in the air because of unseasonably cold and snowy weather.

Click to play video 'Status of construction projects in wake of snow?' Status of construction projects in wake of snow?
Status of construction projects in wake of snow? – Oct 17, 2016