M.D. update: Poplar Lane paving project to start this week

Trails, walkways, roofs, kiosks, gravel and other projects

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The biggest capital project on the M.D. of Lesser Slave River books this year is about to kick off (or has by now). It’s the paving of Poplar Lane and according to M.D. Director of Transportation Bill Klassen it was due to begin on Aug. 7.
“It’s just over $3 million,” Klassen says. “It’s supposed to take 37 days.”
That, of course, will depend on the weather cooperating.
Knelson Sand & Gravel is the contractor on the job. Klassen says the contract calls for paving from the access to The Acres all the way east to the end of Poplar Lane; also the connecting bit of road from Hwy. 2 to Poplar Lane (Poplar Drive).
Walking paths
Paving of walking trails is also on the M.D. capital budget schedule this summer, in two locations. Asphalt overlay is booked for the pathway from Tamarack Rd. (by Select Rentals), running north along Hwy. 88 as far as the provincial park boundary at Devonshire Lane. The other job is to build from scratch a paved pathway in the hamlet of Smith, from the community complex to 9th Avenue, Klassen says. The overlay is budgeted at $70,000 and the new path in Smith comes in at roughly $147,000. E Construction is the contractor on both. Klassen wasn’t sure last week exactly when the work would commence.
Crushing and hauling
A 90,000-tonne gravel crushing project at Flatbush is pretty much complete, Klassen says. The supply is expected to last about four years.
“We’ve upped the gravel content on our roads,” he says.
In other gravel pit news, an agreement has been reached between the M.D. and a private landowner in Chisholm, regarding access to the M.D. pit. Already-crushed gravel that was stranded there will be hauled out now and used on area roads.
“It’s a win-win,” says Klassen.
“We’re grateful,” adds M.D. CAO Allan Winarski.
Marten Beach walkways
Wooden walkways (mostly stairs) providing lake access for the public at Marten Beach are due for replacement and are budgeted to be done this year for around $64,000. Strike Contracting was the successful bidder on the job. Same as above on start date for the work.
Shoulder pulls
As reported earlier, a contractor has been secured for some road re-hab work in the Flatbush area. Recall Gravel Systems will do ‘shoulder pulls’ on 11.2 kilometres of various roads that need it the most, for a price of $146,000.
In other road improvement news, Winarski says a tip of the cap is due to a couple of energy companies who donated gravel for the improvement of certain M.D. roads. Cardinal and Delta Stream are the two firms.
Wagner lookout
The M.D. plans to develop a spot overlooking the lake at the Wagner access on Southshore Drive as a sort of scenic lookout. Garbage cans, benches and a sign kiosk are planned. Now all they have to do is find a way to get people to stop dumping their garbage over the bank.
“We want to get away from dumping there,” says Winarski. “Even as we’re working there we end up with people dumping garbage there.”
Speaking of info kiosks, the M.D. is putting up four new ones (or has put them up) – at Chisholm, the boat launch at the east end of Fawcett Lake, Lawrence Lake and at the Fire Hall Park in Widewater. Winarski says the kiosks are part of the emergency response plan, whereby if other forms of communication break down, the kiosks will be the places to find out what is going on.
Muskeg Road closed
Due to high water, Muskeg Road remains closed to all but local traffic. Klassen says there’s a plan to add culverts and replace some non-functioning ones, in the hopes of improving the drainage and getting the road back in usable condition for through traffic.
New siding
The Widewater Complex and the Visitor Information Centre are to get new siding this summer. Klassen says the first call for bids – put out locally – got no response at all. So the M.D. put the call out more broadly and are hoping for better results
A new material has been laid down in a few spots in hopes of prolonging the life of asphalt/concrete for a few years. Klassen says it’s called ‘micro-surfacing,’ and it’s on the West Mitsue Road, the M.D. admin building parking lot and the deck of the Tollenaar Bridge. It’s the same stuff the province put on the QE II, he says, and it tends to look better after a bit of traffic. In the case of the Tollenaar Bridge, it cost between $7,000 and $8,000 (as an alternative to a full $200,000 concrete fix) and “buys us some time.”

Scenic lookout being developed at Wagner: now if people would just stop dumping garbage there…

Improvements to drainage are planned for Muskeg Road.


Pavement is in the works for Poplar Lane – starting perhaps this week.


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