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Construction headaches on Con Road
Residents say water and sewer replacement has dragged on too long

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Friday, August 19, 2016

Residents who live near a water and sewer line construction project on Con Road say they are frustrated, both with the length of time it is taking to complete the work and the lack of public consultation on exactly how it is being done.

NNSL photo/graphic

This stretch of Con Road has been closed to traffic since late May while NWT Construction works on a water and sewer line replacement project. - John McFadden/NNSL photo

A two-block stretch on Con Road between 54 Street and Rycon Drive has been closed off to traffic since late May. The $1.5-million project is being done by NWT Construction.

Magnus Bourque, who lives on the corner of Con Road and 55 Street said he understands the construction is necessary but said it has been a huge inconvenience for him and his family all summer long.

"It's going awfully slow. They seem to be drawing it out. Some days they work. Other days there is nobody around," Bourque said. "Some days trucks come in the morning and idle for a couple of hours - then they take off. Then they come back in the afternoon for a couple of more hours and then they are gone again."

He said his lawn alongside Con Road has been chewed up and his property damaged and that he was not made aware ahead of time that his yard would be taking such a hit.

He also said he has been told that the work will be done by mid-September but added he has doubts about that.

Helmut Epp lives beside Bourque on 55 Street - one lot further away from Con Road. He too said he has been frustrated by the pace of the work and lack of information.

"The main thing that has been bothering us is the lack of consultation and information over the last three months," said Epp.

"At the beginning ... they informed us that we would be kept in the loop as far as the construction was concerned. Unfortunately that has not happened."

Epp said that a water line is being replaced behind his house where his driveway links up with an alleyway. This has made parking difficult, he said, because part of his driveway and the alley have been torn up all summer.

NWT Construction general manager Rod Hildebrand said that the project is on schedule and he still expects it will be completed by mid-September.

"There has been additional rock encountered that wasn't anticipated, which has slowed down some of the trench work," Hildebrand said.

He added he understands people may be frustrated with the length of time it is taking to finish up the project but this is pretty much the way it works when doing road and water line work in Yellowknife.

"We may be excavating and we hit rock that was unforeseen and then we have to get in the subcontractor for blasting," Hildebrand said.

"You make a plan and you react but in terms of Con Road, it is all within the timeline anticipated."

City spokesperson Richard McIntosh stated in an e-mail to Yellowknifer that Con Road area residents were told about the project in May and if construction plans change then the city will notify residents of those changes.

He added that the city maintains an up to date listing of all construction projects on its website and construction information is included in the weekly newsletter, which is mailed to every household in the city.

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