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Subway upgrades in works

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Portage Avenue underpass modifications will be among the summer construction projects going on here.

The town has put out a call for tenders for the installation of a storm sewer forcemain underneath the railway tracks on the northwest quadrant of the underpass, noted Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown.

The forcemain will tie into the existing storm sewer system behind the Third Street East lane.

As well, the town will replace its current non-submersible pumps with submersible ones that will feed through the new forcemain and won’t freeze during the winter.

“What happens right now is the existing system has to flip from ‘summer mode’ to ‘winter mode,’” explained Brown.

“We dump [water] into the sanitary sewer in wintertime, and in the summertime, once the ground is thawed, we flip back to ‘summer mode,’ where we dump it into the storm sewer system.

“This will alleviate that,” he said.

The project initially was to be part of the underpass work conducted several years ago, but the town had to wait to get permission from CN to allow the casing under the track for the forcemain. They received that approval back in October.

The town also got permission from the adjacent residential property owner to do the work.

The job also will include the removal of the pumphouse, the extension of the submersible mantle, the placement of a 10’x10’ platform with a lifting hoist, the installation of a fence, and the grading of the slope on the northwest quadrant.

The project is to be done off the road, and not expected to require the closure of the underpass.

Still, Brown noted it is possible there may be a brief period (one or two days) while the slope is being graded that traffic flow may be affected.

The deadline for tenders is May 15 at 2 p.m. (it will be preceded by a site visit at 11 a.m. on May 3 for prospective contractors to examine the site and learn about the soil conditions).

Brown said it’s likely council will vote to award the tender at its May 28 meeting.

Work is slated to start in mid- to late June and be finished by early to mid-August, depending on the weather.

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