A map of the proposed roadworks for 2019 shows the possible areas where road improvements could occur.(Contributed)

A map of the proposed roadworks for 2019 shows the possible areas where road improvements could occur.(Contributed)

Sidewalk design sends Sooke council looking for a compromise

Councillors approve more roadwork

Sooke council is taking more steps to improve Sooke’s sidewalks and roadways.

Brian Derrick, the district’s engineering technologist, told councillors recently that bids for this year’s roadwork under the district’s five-year plan came under budget.

RELATED: District launches five-year road improvement plan

The low bid for completing the work was submitted by Capital City Paving for $627,750. The district budgeted $700,000.

French Road, Quartz Drive, Rhodonite Road, Pyrite Drive, Beaton Road, and Talc Place will see road rehab work completed this summer.

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In a separate report, the construction of sidewalks from Otter Point Road to Ed Macgregor Park, elicited a more robust discussion from council

At issue was the design of the sidewalks with one option calling for the installation of the same sort of red brick that were put in place in the town centre three years ago. The other option called for simple brushed concrete.

Derrick said that while the town centre plan recommended the red brick option, the cost ramifications of that choice would be substantial.

He said the red brick costs roughly 2½ times the cost of concrete, a factor that would limit the length of the sidewalk construction.

Councillors weighed in on the issue with Coun. Al Beddows recommending that the district go for the concrete option.

“The aesthetic considerations are important, but we really need to get more bang for our buck,” Beddows said.

His position was echoed by Coun. Meaghan McMath, who noted she receives many complaints about the lack of sidewalks and that Sooke is not walkable.

Mayor Maja Tait was not convinced, citing the importance of the aesthetic values in public works.

Her position was supported by Coun. Jeff Bateman, who spoke about the utility of bricks as opposed to concrete slabs, suggesting that individual bricks can be replaced more easily when damaged than concrete slabs.

It was at that point that Coun. Tony St. Pierre entered the discussion with a suggestion that a compromise might be reached.

“We desperately need sidewalks, but it’s possible to go with a stamped concrete, perhaps with a salmon design, that would still be cheaper than bricks but would also have some aesthetic appeal,” St. Pierre said.

The suggestion gained traction with council, and while council approved the district’s $200,000 share of the funding for the sidewalks, it also directed staff to report back on the stamped concrete option.

The cost of the sidewalk project is $1.1 million with $900,000 provided by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.


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