Construction on 51st avenue in Bonnyville has cause 50th street at The TD Bank, Post Office and Brosseau’s Department Store to be closed throughout the summer. The original timeline for the project came with a completion time of August 31st. Council was informed on August 25th construction would not be completed by the time line. On September 8th, Town Council decided it was time to make alternative plans for the roadway, thus, this weekend (September 11-13) 50th street will open. It’s a good news, bad news situation, where the town will put a “band-aid” on the street so it can open for the winter, explains Mayor of Bonnyville Gene Sobolewski.
“It was an emotionally charged discussion,” that Council engaged in at the meeting on September 8th, says the mayor “it wasn’t that the contractor was a little bit behind, mostly it was the whole aspect that a good portion of these roads have been closed for so long, without any access to the post office and that.”
“Basically, we’re looking at the underground contractor doing everything and anything possible to get 50th street open as soon as possible. I believe they will be paving this weekend.” The mayor explains the town will start by opening the north-south corridor at 50th street.
“They’re going to try to do as much as they can, then whatever’s left, we’ll put some cold-mix on it and button it up for the winter.” Mayor Sobolewski explains Council was presented with a new timeline for completion of the project, “the latest and greatest timeline from the contractor shows that there’s no way they will be done this project by October 15th.” With the threat of winter, and everything that comes with it, doing more damage on the project, the town was forced to make the tough decision of closing up the road for the winter to re-open it in the spring.
For east-west 51st avenue, from Sobey’s to the Post Office, Mayor Sobolewski says that will be closed up as well, “they are looking at paving around November 1st.” The Mayors says the road will be functional, “we’ll prepare it so it’s usable over the winter, and it won’t disintegrate or fall apart on us. We’ll put a really good surface on it and take it off in June when they’re ready to get started again.”
This is the best option for the town, business owners, and the residents whose patience is wearing thin with the construction, “at least traffic and people can get access to the road, they’ll be some hazards along there, but we’ll do the best to open it up so people can use that road.”