By Councillor Wayne Rothe
This will be a busy construction year in Spruce Grove with several projects that will transform the city.
I recently attended the City of Spruce Grove’s Spring into Construction event. Employees are lured into city hall with the promise of Egg McMuffins so they can view displays of the year’s construction plans. I love the updates on approved projects (the new RCMP detachment and the protective-services building are two of the biggest projects in our history) and appreciate the preview of some initiatives that haven’t yecome to council (the Boundary Road construction is most notable). The early-morning Egg McMuffin is a nice bonus for a hungry councillor.
Some highlights (including some multi-year projects)….
- Spruce Grove, within two or three years, will have approximately 11 roundabouts, including three or four on each of Pioneer Road and Boundary Road. The roundabouts are big money savers. The short section of Boundary Road north of Highway 16A (a continuation of Grove Drive so it’s proposed to be renamed Grove Drive) will be four lanes, becoming two lanes as it continues north and north-east. Signalized intersections would require the entire road to be four lanes in five to 10 years. Because roundabouts move traffic more efficiently the entire road won’t have to be twinned from McLeod Avenue to just west of Harvest Ridge Drive for 20 to 25 years. That’s a saving today of about $6 million.
- The underground water system at the splash park adjacent to the arena will be replaced. This $300,000 refit will reduce water consumption and replace the existing above-ground water structures with ground-level features to make the park more functional and multi-use. The above-ground water features interfere with events such as Christmas in Central Park. The work will occur this fall so it doesn’t interfere with the popular children’s Summer in the City program.
- Work on the Protective Services building at the fire hall across from the library on Fifth Avenue is well underway. When construction at the east end of the existing building is completed, operations will move there as the renovation to the existing building commences. Completion is expected in January 2020 at a cost of $23.8 million, including furnishings and landscaping.
- The new RCMP detachment across the road from the Walmart is roughly a quarter done, with completion in May 2019 and the building to be operational in July 2019. The $20-million cost is shared by Spruce Grove and Stony Plain. All RCMP operations will be handled out of the new building.
- The new community garden will be constructed on King Street across from the log cabin in preparation for planting in 2019. The city will provide funding and the garden will be operated by the agricultural society.
There will be a lot more gong on this summer, which will be one of our busiest construction seasons ever.