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Early snowfall has not hindered road construction: City of Lethbridge

Winter has come early for Lethbridge as the city sees its second snowfall of the season. But the turn in weather shouldn't have much impact on road projects scheduled to be finished this fall. Demi Knight reports.

Winter has come early for Lethbridge, as the city saw its second snowfall of the season on Tuesday.

However, Darwin Juell, the transportation manager for the City of Lethbridge, said the turn in weather hasn’t caused any major delays to ongoing road construction projects throughout the city.

“We’re wrapping up all of the construction work we were planning to this year,” he said.

“It was a typical year of construction for us.”

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READ MORE: City of Lethbridge halts major road project after residents voice concerns

In the spring of 2019, Lethbridge saw two major road construction projects begin. The first involves improvements to the bridge deck on Whoop-Up Drive.

The highly-utilized roadway saw lane closures to both eastbound and westbound traffic, as well as decreased speed limits, as crews worked to sandblast and repaint the structure of the bridge.

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The project had a price tag just shy of $4.5 million. Construction began in May and was slated to be completed by the end of October.

Juell said crews were able to continue work beneath the bridge despite the change in weather and are on track to meet their deadline.

“In the next two weeks, [crews] will be taking down their scaffolding,” Juell said.
“The last thing to go will be the concrete medians that are making it two lanes versus three. Then we’ll be moving it back up to the typical speed limit of 90 kilometres [per hour].”
City of Lethbridge changes traffic plans in response to public concerns
City of Lethbridge changes traffic plans in response to public concerns

The second project undertaken by the city this year is the twinning of University Drive.

The $10.9-million project began in April and is scheduled to be completed in November 2020.

Juell said the two-year project has run into many hiccups along the way, including weather delays on several instances that have deterred crews from accomplishing as much work in the first year of the project as they had initially hoped.

“Fortunately, it’s a two year project so they will get it all done next year,” he said.

For several months, intersections have been closed along University Drive as part of the ongoing project. But Juell said all intersections will be open to the public before construction on the twinning project wraps up for the season.

“The key thing is that University Drive and Grand River Boulevard, as well as University Drive and Riverstone Boulevard, will be totally finished this year,” he said. “So the inconvenience to the public is minimized.”

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READ MORE: University Drive twinning project starts in Lethbridge

Juell said that overall it’s been a mild year for road construction in the city with few projects on the go.

However, he added residents can still expect to see crews at work on the roads, applying the finishing touches to scheduled projects and intersection improvements across the city for the next few weeks.

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