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Parkway completion likely off until spring

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Some of the work on the La Verendrye Parkway along the riverfront may have to wait until spring thanks to the unseasonable weather that has plagued the area all month.

“The original deadline was around the end of October, but we have not had the weather we thought we would,” Pat Hickerson, the town’s manager of Operations and Facilities, said Tuesday.

He noted while crews have completed curbing, and most of the in-water work (the sloping, the fish habitat, pilings for the Sorting Gap Marina, and drainage improvements), some work most likely would have to wait until spring unless there’s a dramatic turnaround in the weather.

“The cold weather and the frost on the ground affects the compaction, and the paving is temperature sensitive,” noted Hickerson.

Work that would be held off on until spring includes the bike path, the paving stone walkway, the paving from the curb to the middle of the street, and of course, the sodding and site furnishings.

When Hickerson brought the matter up at Monday night’s council meeting, it was agreed to refer the matter to the Operations and Facilities executive committee after the delay is discussed later this week by engineers and contractor George Armstrong Co. Ltd.

Any adjustments to cost also would have to be determined at this time.

In related news, council authorized Engineering Northwest Ltd. to proceed with extending the original preliminary survey on Front Street to include the distance from the Sorting Gap Marina to Minnie Avenue.

This $1,750 job is in preparation for road work that may happen next year, noted Hickerson.

And Hickerson also has followed up on the proposed alteration to an island of “green space” in the parkway plans that the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship board of directors requested be changed to a paved area with movable planters.

Yesterday, he sent the board a letter quoting the cost involved in this proposed change, for which the FFCBC will foot the bill. Since the board hasn’t received it yet, Hickerson said he could not comment on the cost of such a change.

During Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, councillors authorized Acres & Associates to proceed with investigating the rehabilitation of the Portage Avenue subway.

The cost of this ($79,790) is to come from the 2002 capital budget, with the balance coming from the 2003 capital budget.

This project likely will happen in the next three years, said Hickerson.

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