The Town of Hay River is planning to slightly realign a roughly 200-metre section of the road in Paradise Valley.

That’s because of erosion on the banks of the Hay River.

The Town of Hay River is planning to slightly realign a section of the road in Paradise Valley because of erosion on the banks of the Hay River.
Image courtesy of Google Earth / Town of Hay River

Mike Auge, director of public works with the Town of Hay River, said the very steep bank drops away quickly near the road.

“Essentially, the drop-off has gotten closer to the road,” he said. “So we need to move the road back. We’re going to look at seeing if there is any sort of stabilizing we can do while we do that, but it’s only a short portion.”

Auge said the road will be probably shifted one or two metres.

“It is a safety issue, so it’s something that needs to be dealt with,” he said.

The project, which is in the town’s 2020 capital budget, will cost about $110,000, and is expected to be done sometime this summer.

It is believed the realignment should solve the problem for years.

“Unless there’s a major event on the river where we get a huge amount of flooding in that area that wears away the bank, it should solve it for the foreseeable future, anyway,” Auge said.

The director of public works said it is believed the erosion is mainly caused by ice during spring break-up.

The Town of Hay River is responsible for the unpaved road in Paradise Valley, a residential and farming area off Highway 2 about 25 kilometres from downtown.

“It’s a town road,” explained Auge. “We do have an MOU with Infrastructure for some of the maintenance on the roads out along the corridor. So that’s one of the ones that they would be doing the snowplowing and some of the maintenance work in the summer on it. But it is a town road, so any significant capital projects on it are town responsibility.”

The realignment project was considered last year, but outside funding could not be found for the work.

For 2020, town council included it in the capital budget.

The realignment will not infringe onto any private property.

“We still have a lot of room in the right-of-way,” said Auge.

Plus, he noted there is no underground infrastructure in the area to complicate the realignment, although some poles will have to be moved.

“We don’t have final design, yet,” Auge said, noting guardrails may also be added just to further ensure safety.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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