Spall pursues road funding

Federal support being sought to upgrade Pleasant Valley Road in 2016.

New grant funding could mean a quicker upgrade to Pleasant Valley Road in Spallumcheen.

Township public works manager Ed Forslund asked for, and received, council’s approval to submit an application for 66.6 per cent funding to the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund program to upgrade Pleasant Valley Road in 2016.

The road is currently scheduled in the township’s capital roads program for deep base reclamation and paving in 2017 at an estimated cost of $4 million.

Replacing the Stepney Cross Road bridge has been approved in the program for 2015 at an estimated cost of $525,000, and reconstruction of the stretch from Otter Lake Road from St. Anne’s Road to Larkin Cross Road is currently scheduled for 2016 at an estimated cost of $2.2 million. That project would flip with Pleasant Valley Road if grant funding is secured.

“The grant criteria define major highways and roads,” said Forslund. “The Pleasant Valley Road project meets many more of the grant application criteria than the Stepney Cross Road bridge replacement and Otter Lake Road projects.

“It also provides the most community benefit.”

Forslund pointed out that Pleasant Valley Road is the busiest road in the township, and that upgrading it will assist the township with reducing costs associated with repairing and prolonging its life.

PV Road is also the major road between the township’s industrial park and the City of Armstrong, where many employees live.

Pre-design for the Pleasant Valley Road fix will consider potential safety improvements, including a preliminary cost-benefit analysis of each, such as adding bike lanes.

Urban Systems Ltd. will help the township prepare the grant application, which has a deadline of Feb. 18, 2015, at a cost of $32,300.

“The recommended source of the $32,300 funding for the grant application preparation is from the 2015 capital road projects account,” said Forslund.

If the township receives the requested funding, its 33.3 per cent portion of the estimated $4 million price tag would be $1.332 million, and would be funded from the 2016 capital road projects account.

Should the township not be successful in receiving grant funding, the timing of projects in the capital roads program will need to be reviewed.