Lacombe's west area development advancing with award of servicing contracts

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Signs advertising businesses to come to the City of Lacombe’s west area development have been up for months, but now servicing to facilitate that development is officially on its way.

At their regular meeting Monday, Lacombe city council awarded  a number of contracts for a trio of projects under the West Area Servicing Project umbrella that will finally see the area – now known as the Midway Centre – move closer to buildings going up, and businesses moving in.

“Council is pleased to see this project move forward, and we look forward to the positive impact it will have on the local and regional economy,” said City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey. “The City of Lacombe is working collaboratively with Lacombe County to ensure that growth and development
along our borders is beneficial to both municipalities.”

Pidherney’s Inc. was awarded the contract for the installation of water and wastewater mains that will extend services to the city’s western boundary for both the Midway Centre and future development in Lacombe County. The contract came in at $5,639,913 plus GST, $1.5 million under the next closest bidder, while ranking higher in pre-qualification criteria based on experience, and references of both the company and superintendent.

Construction of the Midway Lift Station, meanwhile, was awarded to Alberco Construction to the tune of $3,725,093 plus GST. Alberco outbid seven other companies, and was the only company to propose using an alternative installation method known as caisson construction. According to Director of Operations and Planning Jordan Thompson, only the areas where the lift station walls will be sunk into the ground will be dug out, rather than the entire area, leaving a smaller impact on the site, minimizing issues with groundwater, and shoring requirements for temporary supports.

The final contract, which deals with improvements and upgrades to the Hwy 12 and 76th St. intersection to arterial standards, as well as the Hwy 12 and 58th St. intersection, was awarded to Border Paving for $3,648,453 plus GST.

Added to the scope of the project was the replacement of traffic lights at the Hwy 12 and 58th St. intersection. The decision was made by council after learning a Highline Electrical Constructors report given to the city noted “significant deficiencies” with the signals, and ultimately impending failure.

Creasey suggested council might look “incompetent” if they didn’t address the light situation during construction and instead waited for the lights to fail, and others echoed sentiments that it would just make sense to replace them during the project, especially with the project overall expected to come in under the $15.1 million budget.

“If these lights are doomed to fail anyways, then we might as well do it all in one fell swoop,” said Coun. Reuben Konnik.

The servicing and Midway lift station will both be cost shared equally between the City of Lacombe and Lacombe County, as outline in the Joint Area Servicing Agreement.  The county has also contributed $300,000 for the upgrades to the Hwy 12 and 76 St. intersection project, which is not included in the Join Area Servicing Agreement.