The past winter was hard on the boardwalk inserts in the promenade along Lakeshore Drive. So hard, in fact, that some are going to be removed and replaced with coloured concrete.
Councillors approved the work during their meeting Monday night, at the cost of approximately $700 per section for approximately 12 sections that were heavily damaged.
David Kelham, in his report to council, stated the boardwalks are made with composite wood material and 4x4s resting on concrete supports.
There are approximately 67 boardwalks and they’re all proposed for replacement “over time as they fail”.
The immediate problem, he indicated, involves several that were damaged during the winter due to heavier equipment than normal being used to clear snow.
Because they‘re floating structures, the freeze-thaw cycles heave the sections and create uneven walking surfaces. “There has also been the issue of the composite material becoming fragile in the cold weather and breaking, causing tripping hazards.”
Options considered included replacement or repair of damaged boardwalks, replacement with paving stones or coloured concrete with the latter chosen.
Three quotes were received and councillors approved awarding a contract to Alberta Parking Lot Services to replace the damaged boardwalks with work to end prior to Canada Day.
Councillor Matt Prete suggested the colours chosen should be more vibrant than the drab brown of the boardwalks. “Let’s add some colour rather than blah,” he said. Councillor Jas Payne agreed and suggested the design consultant be contacted about alternating colours along the promenade.
However a motion to that effect, supported by Prete and Payne, was defeated when the rest of council voted against it.
One of the considerations was that they wanted the work done before the busy summer season and waiting for a response before making a decision would delay work.
Noting the total cost to fix the problem is about $47,000, Mayor Sean McIntyre asked, “where does the responsibility lie as far as having sections fail?”
Betty Osmond, the town‘s chief administrative officer, said that was discussed at length by staff but they determined there were too many variables to place blame in any one area.