Posted on: March 5, 2018

Phase Two of the 48 Avenue Bridge Replacement Project ready to begin

After a brief shutdown over the winter months, construction is about to resume on the 48 Avenue Bridge Replacement project.

This project originally began because of a need to replace the existing 48 Avenue roadway bridge that crosses Mirror Lake. Inspections of the bridge over the past few years indicated that the 50+ year-old bridge had reached the end of its life. Along with replacing the existing bridge, the project will increase the capacity of 48 Avenue between 54 Street and 51 Street through the addition of an extra traffic lane for both the eastbound and westbound directions. This will help the City accommodate expected traffic growth along this busy section of roadway over the life of the new bridge structure.

In order to improve traffic safety and efficiency along 48 Avenue, this project will also include the raising of the roadway by as much as 1.5 metres. This will reduce the slope of 48 Avenue for eastbound vehicles approaching 51 Street, which should greatly reduce the risk of vehicles losing traction as they approach downtown. Finally, to improve pedestrian convenience and safety, there will also be a new underground pedestrian bypass installed near the east side of the lake. The bypass will connect the existing paved trails on both sides of 48 Avenue, allowing trail users to cross under 48 Avenue without requiring the use of the nearby traffic signals.

Work on the first phase of this project began in early September 2017, and concluded less than three months later in late November. The work that was completed in Phase One largely involved the placement of road fill material into Mirror Lake on either side of 48 Avenue to provide a base for the expanded roadway. Remaining work to be completed in 2018 will include:

  • the removal of the existing bridge and the installation of the new bridge;
  • the installation of the new pedestrian underpass;
  • the raising of the roadway base and the construction of the new roadway;
  • the construction of new paved trails on both sides of 48 Avenue; and
  • the associated electrical, landscaping and cleanup work.

In February 2018, the contractor for this project (PSA Construction Inc.) provided the City and its consulting engineers (AMEC Foster Wheeler) a detailed schedule outlining PSA’s proposed schedule for the remaining work. PSA is tentatively planning to re-mobilize their equipment and staff to Camrose on or around March 19, with work scheduled to begin shortly thereafter. At this time, PSA anticipates that they will be able to complete all work on the project prior to the end of August 2018.

Starting in late March, 48 Avenue will be completely closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic between 53 Street and 51 Street. This section of 48 Avenue will remain closed until the project is complete and the roadway is re-opened to the public in late August.

In conjunction with AMEC and the City, PSA has developed a traffic accommodation plan, which will re-route all vehicles and pedestrians around the construction area. PSA will be installing detour route signage throughout the City later this month. Additionally, the City will impose temporary parking restrictions and/or intersection controls to help move vehicles along the bypass routes. These temporary changes will include such measures as installing temporary 4-way stop signs or adjusting traffic signal timings at key intersections in order to move vehicles through the detour routes as safely and efficiently as possible.

During the planned Phase Two work, the City anticipates that most other roadways throughout the City will become busier as local and non-local traffic is routed around the closed section of 48 Avenue. This will mainly affect the higher volume roadways within the City such as 68 Street, Camrose Drive, 54 Avenue, Grand Drive / 50 Avenue, 53 Street, 48A Avenue, 51 Street, 50 Street, 47 Avenue and 44 Avenue. Lower volume roadways throughout the City are expected to see some increase in traffic during the period when 48 Avenue is closed, with those roadways that are located closer to the closure being expected to see a greater increase in traffic.

The City and AMEC will work with PSA to monitor the traffic accommodation plan, and to make appropriate adjustments as needed.

Administration is also reviewing the remaining projects in the City’s 2018 construction program in order to reduce potential conflicts with the 48 Avenue Bridge Replacement project. The City will attempt to reduce the inconvenience to pedestrians and motorists where possible. However, given the scope of the 48 Avenue Bridge Replacement project, drivers and pedestrians should expect to see some additional congestion and delays throughout the City. The City would like to thank all residents in advance for their patience and understanding during this major project.

For more information about the 48 Avenue Bridge Replacement project, please visit the project blog. Please direct questions or concerns regarding this project to the City of Camrose Engineering department at engineer@camrose.ca or at 780.672.4428.

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