Construction Update, February 5, 2010

Hello everyone:

Here’s the latest construction update.


A number of properties (mainly on the west side) have had private walkways and parts of the lawn dug up in order to do work. Both contractors will return in the spring (most likely May) to repair private walkways and lay fresh sod. Why May? Because that is typically the earliest time that sod farms have their first crop of sod ready.

There will be no traffic restrictions when this repair is being done: at most a crew will occupy a few parking spots.


The work here is nearly finished. Comer has one side-street connection to do at Wright Avenue and is waiting for one major pipe (crossing the street between Wright and Fern) to pass testing. They expect to be completely finished and off the street in a week.

We expect that in about one week the entire south end will be open to two-way traffic.


Fermanagh Avenue finally opened up last week. Aside from the continued closure at Marmaduke, there will be no more side street closures in the north end.


Sewer and water connections to St. Vincent de Paul Church and the adjoining rectory (south of Westminster) are underway and should be complete in two or three days. After this, almost everything will be complete between Fermanagh and Geoffrey and two-way traffic and full parking will be restored on those blocks.


The sewer and water connection work from Geoffrey to Grenadier is nearing completion. The side connection being tunneled at Grenadier should be complete in about a week.

Then the Geoffrey to Grenadier block will open up to two-way traffic and full parking.

This means that in about one week Roncesvalles will be completely open from Queen up to Grenadier.


The sewer and water connection work from Grenadier to Neepawa is well under way. Because the water main in this area is actually under the road, not the sidewalk, it has been necessary to open many trenches to do sewer connections and then plate the trenches for traffic, dig on the west side of Roncesvalles for water connections, do those connections and then fully fill and pave the trenches.

While this is unsightly, it is the fastest way to get the job done in this area. The good news is that water connections on the existing trenches are underway and the existing trenches should be finished and paved in three to four days.

WATERMAIN CONNECTIONS: Fermanagh to Marmaduke

There are still a few watermain connections to side streets to be completed between Fermanagh and Marmaduke. These will be localized (occupying only part of an intersection) and each should take about half a day to complete.


The water bypass (blue pipe) between Marmaduke and Howard Park Avenue on the west side has been decommissioned and will be removed in the next few days.

The current job of tunneling under Howard Park Avenue is complete, and much of the intersection is freshly paved. There is some water main work happening on the north side of Howard Park which should be completed, filled and paved in about two days.

After this, the final water main connection just south of Howard Park will be completed, and the northmost section of water main will be ready for flushing, pressure testing and quality testing. This will take a minimum of one week.

There is one last sewer connection to cross Roncesvalles on the south side of Howard Park. It is not clear whether or not this will require tunneling.

We expect that in about two weeks Varcon will begin doing sewer and water connections starting at Boustead and moving south to Marmaduke. That work must be done from north to south because they will be gradually decommissioning an old sewer as they go, and, you know, things flow downhill.


Early Wednesday morning (about 4:00 a.m.) a large amount of soil gave way in one of the trenches cut south of Neepawa. This caused a gas line to rupture. The situation was dealt with rather quickly, but obviously this has caused significant concerns.

In the north end of Roncesvalles the soil is unusually sandy, and there is a risk of vertical soil “walls” giving way. Varcon has advised us that they will be doing larger cuts with sloped, rather than vertical walls, to prevent this from happening again.


Varcon now has a small sweeper on site at all times, and will do regular street cleaning early in the morning (before most businesses open) for the duration of this project.


Varcon is on track to be completely finished in early to mid-March. At that point, Roncesvalles will open to traffic and transit both ways.


I just received a report on the current construction from Gord Perks’ office. You can read it on his blog here: