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Many projects on deck for Town of Swan River crews


Summer is the season of lakeside recreation, sun and ice cream but it is also the season of public works projects, when important construction tasks can get accomplished. The Town of Swan River has several planned in the next few months that residents should watch for.
A major job that is going to be impacting Swan River traffic is a rehabilitation of a section of Main Street, between Hwy. No. 83 and Third Avenue.
“Work scope includes utility main and service replacements, including the replacement of mains connecting into avenues and all service assets like valves and hydrants,” said Director of Public Works Derek Poole. “Also included in the project is the replacement of the curb and gutters on the north and south side of (Main Street).
“The Town has budgeted for asphalt pavement to cover our trench, though are in communication with Manitoba Infrastructure on the re-surfacing of the entire street.”
The project is scheduled to start this week, with Town employees having done preliminary work, including saw cutting and removing old curb and gutter. This work will not require the street to be closed.
Once the main excavation is started that portion of Main Street will be closed and detours will be utilized. The project is estimated to take five weeks to complete.
Detour A will be in use through the majority of the work. It will divert westbound Main Street traffic south on Third Avenue and west First Street South to connect to Hwy. No. 83. Likewise, northbound Hwy. No. 83 traffic will use the same route to connect to Main Street, travelling east.
Detour B consists of taking westbound Main Street traffic and diverting it north on Fourth Avenue, west on Second Street North, south on Third Avenue North, and west on First Street North to connect to Centennial Drive, which turns into Hwy. No. 83 heading south. Northbound Hwy. No. 83 traffic will follow the same route to connect to Main Street travelling east.
Detour B will be utilized when the Town is working in the intersection of Main Street and Third Avenue. Access to businesses will be through back lanes and other avenues.
“The utility assets – including water mains, hydrants and valves in that section of road are very old,” said Poole. “The water mains are made of asbestos cement, which when not moved is a very strong material, but it is very brittle and any movement of the pipe cracks it easily.
“Over time, due to our geographic location, the Town has experienced many breaks along this section of road which are expensive to repair. The replacement will ensure long term, maintenance-free water service for the businesses along that section of Main Street. The sewer mains and manholes were installed using PVC technology at the time of construction and are not in need of replacement.”
PLC Upgrade
The Town will also be upgrading the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
“The current PLCs are current past their design life and need to be replaced,” said Poole. “The mechanization of the water treatment process is achieved using PLCs with a human machine interface.”
The PLCs were installed during the last WTP upgrade in 2001. Poole added that one of the Town objectives is to complete the upgrade with no disturbance to water treatment or distribution.
Lagoon environmental impact study
Prior to the detailed design of a waste water treatment facility upgrade, the Town is planning to perform – jointly with the Manitoba Water Services Board – an environmental impact study to be approved by Manitoba Conservation and Climate.
“The study ensures the Town accounts for environmental values in decision making through our design and construction phases and allows the Town eligibility for provincial and federal funding,” said Poole.
Household hazardous waste facility
A household hazardous waste facility is currently in construction, with a goal to be complete in early July.
“It will give residents a depot where household hazardous waste – such as paint, aerosol and extinguishers – are accepted at the facility and inventoried by our current landfill contractor,” said Poole. “The Town has a partnership with the Province of Manitoba in the shipping and recyle or disposal of the household hazardous waste products.”
Sidewalks and street paving
The Town has awarded the 2020 asphalt tender, which will include 27 various patches within Town due to utility excavations or road wear and tear, as well as the paving of Main Street trench areas due to utility infrastructure replacements.
Poole noted that dozens of trip hazards currently exist in the sidewalk network and the work of repairing the spot hazards will be performed by Safe Sidewalks Canada.
“The Engineering department has taken an inventory and prioritized several larger sections of the system that need to be outright replaced,” he said. “That work will be done by Town crews.”
Other Public Works operations
Public Works operations tend to be repetitive season-to-season. Poole noted that spring work that is complete is the ditch and culvert thawing to ensure swift drainage, as well as boulevard sweeping followed by street sweeping. Additional spring clean-up has also taken place at the airport and landfill, and an initial grading of the gravel roads and back lanes has been completed.
“Currently, our Public Works crews are performing line painting work, and residents will notice our yellow curbs being painted first,” said Poole. “We are also painting our catch basins blue, an initiative mentioned and started several years ago by our Public Works employees. Not only does it serve a reminder to people that what we pour down those drains can harm our river and streams, it allows us to find them very easily during the winter thaw.”
The Town is also in the process of discharging the lagoon.
“Utility employees discharge three, sometimes four, times per year,” said Poole. “When discharge is complete, the utility employees will level out the primary and secondary cell effluent elevations for further capacity and continued treatment.”
These tasks are in addition to the regular Public Works tasks of solid waste management, dust control, weed control and grass trimming utility water treatment plant testing, lift station monitoring cemetery maintenance and keeping the fleet of Town vehicles on the road.
Some of the operational projects in the coming weeks will be erecting banners and flags, with Poole adding that Town people should keep a close eye out for, with something special on the horizon.
“Residents and visitors should be aware of construction signs and slow down when passing through construction areas,” he said. “Control of your vehicle is lost in seconds and lower speeds greatly reduce your risk of an accident. Our workers appreciate your cooperation and attention on this matter.”
Poole concluded by showing his appreciation for both the Public Works employees that have a lot to maintain and do their jobs well, as well as the residents who take the time to acknowledge the work that is done.

Jeremy Bergen