STELLARTON – Why is it taking so long to finish the repair job on Foord Street in Stellarton?
An excavator works around to remove dirt for a box culvert being placed across Foord Street in Stellarton. Because of the depth of the hole, the driver needs a spotter to tell him where to dig. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
There are plenty of good reasons, explains Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal inspector Ray MacLeod.
“It’s a long, old process,” he said citing everything from weather to unexpected rock that impeded progress.
The project, which began in November of 2012, was necessary to replace a box culvert that wasn’t working properly and caused a sinkhole to form on the main road in 2009. The old culvert was installed in 1963 by the province when the highway was first built. It had become so filled with dirt it became completely clogged and impassable.The nature of the work is complex and the tender was awarded to Caldwell & Ross Ltd. in New Brunswick. But the project turned out to be even more complicated than they expected.
With the highway on one side and Jungle Jim’s on the other of where the culvert had to go, the company couldn’t slope the sides down to wear they are putting in as they would if they had the space. Instead they had to put in metal sheeting on the sides of the area they were digging to protect the workers who would be in and around the hole.
“This is a rare thing. Normally you don’t have to put the sheets on the side, but we didn’t have the room to excavate.”
There was also more rock than they expected that had to be chipped away.
“They put bore holes in there but they didn’t really match,” he said. “There were places where the rock was higher than it was supposed to be. It took extra time on that.”
Another complication to the project is that there is sewer, water and a fibre-optic line running through the work area that have to be kept in position and supported while the work is going on.
Originally the project was supposed to be completed in June but with the delays, it won’t be finished now until the middle of October. The road should be reopened within a couple of weeks, however, MacLeod said. Caldwell & Ross is being fined for the time it goes over on the project.
“It’s costing them more but it’s not costing us any more,” MacLeod.
Regarding public safety, Caldwell & Ross said they’d like to remind people to be cautious around the site and not try walking past the barriers or caution signs.