City of Williams Lake acting chief administrative officer Geoff Goodall went over the design for road improvements at South Lakeside Drive at the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday. Next staff will prepare a cost assessment for council to approve with hopes the project can go to tender within a few weeks.

City of Williams Lake acting chief administrative officer Geoff Goodall went over the design for road improvements at South Lakeside Drive at the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday. Next staff will prepare a cost assessment for council to approve with hopes the project can go to tender within a few weeks.

South Lakeside Drive plans shared with council

Council had a chance to see the design for South Lakeside Drive Tuesday and learned the cost falls under the estimated $2.5 million.

Council had a chance to see the design for South Lakeside Drive at its committee of the whole meeting Tuesday and learned the cost falls under the estimated $2.5 million.

“We think we’ve found ways to save money,” acting chief administrative officer Geoff Goodall said.

There was an issue with some land acquisition that the city has found ways to reduce costs. The amount of storm water infrastructure can be reduced, and the city will not be constructing a barrier along the bike path after an Insurance Corporation of B.C. audit suggested there wasn’t enough room for the barrier.

“We’re trying any way we can to keep the budget as low as possible.”

There have been some minor changes in relation to the project.

The configuration is the same although from Hodgson Road to the Walmart access there will be an additional lane added.

Currently when drivers come through the intersection by the fire hall, the second lane ends at the bus stop.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing and you end up in the right-hand lane heading south and go through the light you realize you only have about 30 feet to get into the lane, so we get a little race car situation happening,” he said.

The merge lane will be extended all the way to the turn off to Walmart in the new design so there will be a through lane along South Lakeside and a turn lane to reduce bottlenecks.

“All we’re doing is taking the road prism and sliding it over slightly,” Goodall explained.

Geotechnical work revealed there are some problems with the material presently underneath the road.

“They discovered bad soil under the roadway the whole length,” Goodall said. “Normally when you build a road you sub-ex (sub-excavate) and you get rid of all the organics and types of material and build up a pit run base and build the road.”

That didn’t happen years and years ago when they built the road so there’s nothing really underneath, he added.

The only reason the road has lasted is because down below the bad soil is extremely hard glacial till, the geo-technicians said.

Building the road back on top of the bad soil is not a good idea so the road design requires a substantial amount of sub excavating to remove the material before building a proper new road.

There’s a substantial cost to doing that extra work and installing the pit-run, but other cost savings will keep the total within budget.

Coun. Geoff Bourdon told Goodall he wants assurance that nothing is being compromised because of budget constraints.

“The challenges we’ve dealt with on council have been from that being done in the past on certain projects,” he said.

Goodall responded that by the sub-exing everything there won’t be compromises.

“One of the options we did look at was to modify and only do a full sub-ex on the part that is used heavily by trucks. The interesting thing is we’ve had no base failure on the road. There’s lots of thermal cracking but that’s not base failure.”

The next step will be to firm up a Class A cost assessment to prepare the project for tender.

It should be ready in a couple of weeks, but council needs to have some discussions beforehand, Goodall said.