The re-landscaping of Main Street in Smithers is done, the ribbons have been cut and no further road blocks to take place.
After town council agreed to increase the Downtown Landscaping Revitalization total project budget to $1,260,000.00 from $1,160,000.00, with the additional funds to come from the Northern Capital Planning Grant, the project could be completed.
The crews from Lyons Landscaping, out of Kamloops, discovered the irrigation lines had been severely damaged due to freezing water during excavation of some of the planting areas in some of the medians.
Town staff told council that in order to maintain the original design and contract landscape replacement areas, the irrigation lines must be repaired.
Repairing the irrigation lines in the medians involved removing the red brick pavers in the median, removing curb and gutter, and removing asphalt on Main Street to replace the branch supply line to the median and lateral lines within the medians.
These repairs requiring asphalt and curb patches were not in the scope of work in the contract and beyond the project contingency.
Mayor Gladys Atrill said it was something that needed to be done.
“Of course, we don’t like to have to increase the budget but until the ground was open and the irrigation lines were inspected, it wasn’t known the extent of the damage to the irrigation lines. I talked to one of the contractors downtown and he said there was roots growing into them and some were broken beyond repair so they need to be replaced,” she said. “We are building a project for the next 40 or 50 years so we need to make sure those lines are good and will work for the future. So, no, never want to increase the budget, but recognize that when something new is discovered we have to deal with it.”
Overall, she is happy with the progress.
“The Downtown Landscaping and Revitalization Project has also resulted in accessibility improvements, allowing all residents to enjoy the amazing place we call home in a way that supports their unique needs.”
“This project will help the Town of Smithers ensure we have a vibrant and strong Downtown core, making it one of the most inviting spaces in Northern British Columbia,” Atrill said.
~With files from Marisca Bakker and Thom Barker