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Edmonton’s construction season well underway despite coronavirus pandemic setbacks

Click to play video 'Edmonton’s construction season in full swing despite pandemic setbacks' Edmonton’s construction season in full swing despite pandemic setbacks
WATCH ABOVE: The COVID-19 pandemic created a few bumps in the road for the City of Edmonton’s construction season. Despite the delays, the city says 94 per cent of construction projects are on budget and 84 per cent are on schedule. Chris Chacon reports.

Despite pandemic setbacks, the City of Edmonton says 94 per cent of its construction projects are on budget and 84 per cent are on schedule.

While there are currently 280 individual projects underway, the city points out most key developments remain on track.

Work continues on the Groat Road Bridge with construction slated to be done by the fall of this year. The city’s work on 16 playgrounds, three spray parks and three sport fields is also on schedule.

Read more: Water leaks, cracked concrete lead to construction delay at Edmonton’s Stadium LRT Station

Crews have filled over 300,000 potholes since the start of 2020, an increase of 61.830 from 2019. With less people out on the roads, the city says crews have been able to tend to more locations.

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The Yellowhead Trail freeway conversion is well underway. Full construction on the the Valley Line West LRT will begin next year. One project that has faced major delays, however, is the Valley Line Southeast LRT.

There’s a lot of work involved in the project, but it’s one that could see priorities shift as the city manages spending during the pandemic.

“We’re currently operating under an existing mandate from our city council around our capital program,” said Jason Meliefste, acting deputy city manager of integrated infrastructure services with the City of Edmonton.

“But we also understand on a semi-regular basis — spring and fall — we do check-ins with city council about that and are expecting to have a discussion with council later this fall about priorities

Read more: Edmonton councillor worries about construction costs, delays due to COVID-19

With thousands of workers on projects across the city, keeping them safe from COVID-19 and other hazards is the priority.

“Our crews are always committed to doing the best effort in a safe manner to maintain all of our assets, from maintaining physical distancing to actually being safe while they work in our streets,” said Eduardo Sosa, the city’s director of infrastructure maintenance.

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The city says projects in this year’s construction season will employ roughly 10,000 people.

Click to play video 'Power pole replacement in south Edmonton raises eyebrows' Power pole replacement in south Edmonton raises eyebrows
Power pole replacement in south Edmonton raises eyebrows