Friday , 25 June 2021
The condition of the curb and gutter on 50th Ave is a failing state, the Town argues.

Town requests meeting with minister after province balks on 50th Ave curb and gutter work

The condition of the curb and gutter on 50th Ave is a failing state, the Town argues. 

Bonnyville town council has requested a meeting with the Minister of Transportation after they denied a request to fix the curb and gutter on 50th Ave between 38th and 41th Street.

That road is Highway 659 which means Alberta Transportation looks after the maintenance of the road.

The provincial government maintains roads from curb to curb while maintenance of curb and gutter would be Bonnyville’s responsibility, the regional director for Alberta Transportation said in a reply to the Town on Friday.

However, town council argued during Tuesday’s council meeting that the highway maintenance guidelines say if a curb or gutter structurally fails, Alberta Infrastructure will do the work.

“Let’s put it this way–it’s going to get escalated,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski said on The Morning After.

“When we examined those areas and we made the motion two weeks ago, we recognized that curbing is in failure. There’s bird baths all over, it’s subsided, it’s depressed. It is in failure. And the ministry or the individuals that had responded back to us basically said, well, in reference to the repair–that’s only a guideline.”

Bonnyville submitted this project for consideration for municipal stimulus money as its unfunded in this year’s town budget.

The province believes there is a gutter in place for drainage and the existing gutter is an acceptable condition.

Cosmetic repairs for visual appearance remains the responsibility of the municipality, the highway maintenance guidelines say.

The expected cost is roughly $200,000.

“In other events and other situations, that guideline is the Bible. That’s what they follow and they’re rigid to it, depending on what they need to do. So in this particular case, they basically said, well, no, it’s only a guideline, so we’re not bound to it,” said Sobolewski.

“The issue for council last night was wait a minute–the minister three weeks or four weeks ago announced specifically that these types of infrastructure, the asphalt, the patching, the sidewalks, curb and gutter, those types of things were specifically announced in the municipal stimulus fund as being key projects and priority projects.”

Sobolewski said they’ll try and draw attention to the issue to Transportation Minister Ric McIver before the problem worsens.

“The fact of the matter is, with the water continuing to sit there and infiltrate into the surrounding areas, all it’s going to do is create more mushy conditions and there’s going to be more failures on the asphalt. It’s just going to spread,” he said.

“That’s what happens in the nature of these types of failures. And we recognize that and we want to get on top of it.”


About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.