Half of ramps on Lakeshore intersections not built to spec; all to be replaced with lower slope

A solution is in sight for incorrectly constructed intersections on Lakeshore Drive, but when it will happen is still undecided.

A solution is in sight for incorrectly constructed intersections on Lakeshore Drive, but when it will happen is still undecided.

Half of the ramps on the eight intersections from 44th Street east to the corner of 33rd Street were not constructed to specifications, making them steeper than what was called for, according to Alan Gassor, the town’s director of public works.

“There are variations in the length and height which can result in unpleasant travel along that section of the road, if vehicle speed is greater than approximately 20-25 kph (the speed limit is 30 kph),” his written report said.

The other half of the ramps were constructed to specifications, however now he’s proposing they be torn out and the grade reduced to five per cent. That’s the same grade as the second batch of intersections which were constructed from 44th Street west to 50th Street. The existing ramps varied between approximately seven and nine per cent with most in the higher percentage, according to Gassor’s report.

The work is going to cost $63,000, an amount that was approved by town councillors at their meeting Nov. 13.

Gassor said the ramps where the slope was greater than the specifications would be replaced under warranty at the contractor’s cost. The town’s cost is for the ones which were constructed to specification and are now being changed to a more gradual slope.

The other option was to completely replace each of the eight intersections at an estimated cost of $91,000 per intersection. That would mean lowering them to the same height as those further west and reducing the slope to five per cent.

Councillor Dale Plante said the intersections were two years old and questioned when the town found out they weren’t to design.

“It took a fair amount of time for us to address whether they are or not,” Gassor said indicating the issue was discussed with the contractors and engineers after they were surveyed. Correspondence and joint meetings took place between May and August. Finally in August they reached an agreement with the contractor but construction wasn’t able to be done in 2012.

Councillors instructed Gassor to determine how long it will take to jackhammer out the existing ramps and replace them so they can decide whether the work should be done in the spring or held off until fall.

Plante added that councillors, who have been taking heat from residents about the intersections, were never told negotiations were underway with the contractor.

Councillor Sean McIntyre noted five of the capital projects for 2012 were not completed and said he’d rather see work on the intersections held off until next fall so they didn’t end up with construction going on in the area through the summer.

However, Councillor Ken MacVicar wanted to know the timeline to complete the work. “If it’s a two week project and they can do it in April let’s do it. If it’s a two month project we’re not going to take the chance.”

A final decision will be made after they receive information from Gassor.