Hard to swallow, but road job has to be done

Big price tag on Poplar Lane flood damage repairs

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Flood damage to Poplar Lane remains, and the M.D. is going to bite the bullet and get it fixed. It has been waiting for the result of an application to the province for disaster relief funding (DRP), but that has been dragging on too long. Accordingly, council last week had the results of a request for proposals to consider. And the numbers were not good. The lowest of the three bids was still more than twice the estimated cost. This caused some discomfort around the council table.

“I can’t swallow it,” said councillor Brad Pearson. “It’s beyond what I can fathom to ‘band-aid’ something.”

Granted, said reeve Murray Kerik, “but in the meantime…”

In other words, the road can’t be left in its current condition. It’s a hazard to drivers that can’t be allowed to carry on through the winter. The shoulder of Poplar Lane is washed away on a stretch east of the Eating Creek Bridge from water pouring over the road last June, and the roadway undermined and pavement wrecked at an intersection on the south side. The M.D. applied for $375,000 in DRP funding from the province; it may come through, but the low bid on the project was $867,000.

We might as well call it a million, said Pearson. It’ll end up being close to that.

“Why can’t we fill it up with clay?” he asked.

Come spring we’d just have to take it all out and rebuild it properly, said transportation director Bill Klassen – which would add to the expense.

Hanging over the discussion was the understanding that Eating Creek is going to flood again, in the same manner. The spot that eroded the worst can be protected with a kind of “armour” said Klassen. Some of that was done to protect a section of the road further west where the creek threatened. Of course none of it is cheap.

“I think all we can do is get it fixed,” said Kerik.

Council passed a motion to accept the low bid from Knelson Sand & Gravel. Pearson voted against it.

Flood damage on Poplar Lane.

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