What's up at the Emcon Lot?
There’s been lots of activity in the Emcon lot on Third Avenue the last couple weeks and folks have been asking just what’s going on there. The quick answer is that the lot will be the home base for the Ministry of Transportation’s projects around the region over the next couple of summers.
The Ministry has set up a trailer in the North-East corner of the lot to act as their lab and office space for projects in Rossland, the Paulson Summit, Fruitvale and 9 mile. The long-awaited and much-needed Paulson Summit paving project got underway last week. The Rossland project, which will involve a re-paving of the highway from Redstone to Columbia Avenue and from Davis Street down towards Patterson, will get underway in August. The City of Rossland is also taking the opportunity to partner with the Ministry and upgrade our sewer, water and drainage infrastructure under those sections of road, which are being torn up and re-paved.
“It’s a collaborative project between the City and Province,” explained Rossland’s Engineer Mike Thomas, who is managing the project. “The city is managing it. Highways is pitching in some money and in some cases some materials. It’s the City’s contract to run and Highways has been very helpful. As part of the cooperation, we’ve given them some space at the Emcon yard for their other projects as well.” As part of the rebuild, the city has allowed the contractor (BWM Civil) doing the water, sewer and storm water upgrades to use the Emcon lot to store equipment and materials for the project. Total cost of this summer’s infrastructure project will come in at approximately $535,000. Coordinating the project with the Ministry’s repaving efforts has allowed for some significant efficiencies.
“We wouldn’t be doing this work unless Highways was coming through to pave,” added Thomas. “We’re trying to maintain a good road surface for as many years as we can, so we’re going in to fix the infrastructure before it’s paved over. No-one likes to see new pavement cut up for fixing the pipes and such below. Right now the sewer pipe under the highway is clay tile pipe and really should be replaced so it just makes sense to do it now when the road is going to get torn up and repaved anyway.”
Next summer the project moves to Columbia as a similar infrastructure replacement and total rebuild of our downtown strip gets underway. This summer’s model of cooperation between the City and Province looks to serve Rossland well leading up to the critical Columbia Avenue rebuild. “The relationship with Highways is very good at the moment with this collaboration going on,” noted Thomas. “Good collaboration is going to be necessary we move towards doing the downtown portion of the project to ensure we get a really good project out of that.”