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Repairing main street a priority Bonnyville town council

BONNYVILLE – Fixing the damage along the east end of Bonnyville's main street is a priority for the municipality.

Council discussed the problem area along 50 Ave. between 44 St. and 41 St., beside the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre, after a local business owner requested something be done.

Town administration will be reaching out to Alberta Municipal Affairs with the hopes they can receive financial assistance through the provincial stimulus funding, anticipating the project would cost in the range of $125,000 to $150,000.

“We’ve got enough information to put together a pretty quick and dirty shovel-ready project with some rough prices that are pretty accurate,” noted assistant CAO Bill Rogers.

Since main street is considered part of Hwy. 28, a site visit was coordinated with the public works department, the engineering firm Stantec, and Alberta Transportation to discuss who’s responsible for fixing the problem areas.

“Alberta Transportation reps made it clear that their general rule for them is they look after the asphalt, while the municipality is responsible for the curb,” director of public works Brad Trimble told council during their May 26 meeting. “At the same time, however, they also indicated that if they were to repair the asphalt they would also repair the curb. They further mentioned their repair program is based around safety concerns. Given those factors, the likelihood of this being done by them would be minimal so they’re more included to do maintenance on roads with high-speed limits.”

In order to address the issues, Mayor Gene Sobolewski said the municipality may need to go higher up.

“For the local guys to say ‘we don’t touch the curbs,’ it was very likely Alberta Transportation that caused those curbs to be built or through the town and they participated in that and they approved that,” he exclaimed. “Now, it’s time for it to be repaired. There’s no standard in Alberta Transportation today and 20 years ago that would allow for that to occur today. They would have proper drainage systems and if you go through all of Alberta Transportation guidelines and standards, they require, in urban areas, a curb and gutter.”

Due to the impacts on local businesses along that stretch of the road, council stressed the importance of having it dealt with.

“Now that we’re dealing with the COVID-19 issues and business is working double-time to try and make a living, I’d hate to see parking be an issue for this business,” expressed Coun. Chad Colbourne.

Coun. Ray Prevost agreed, "This is a mess. This isn’t acceptable and it’s a numbered highway and the province is responsible for it… It doesn’t matter who did it, it’s part of the highway in my eyes and it's got to be fixed. I think they’re good at pushing things back, but if we stay persistent eventually we’ll win our case.”  

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle