A major storm channel located on a diagonal under the "Queens Arms" intersection (where Capital Drive, North River Road and Lower Malpeque Road meet) needs to be replaced. Some sections of the storm channel are nearing the end of their lifespan and some seams are no longer fully sealed together. Not replacing the storm channel could mean the possibility of pipe failure or erosion of the soil surrounding the storm channel, either of which could cause the road surface to collapse.
To be proactive and prevent any serious issues, the City of Charlottetown will be working with a contractor to replace the storm channel. As a result, a full closure of the intersection will begin Sunday, September 17 and will be in place for approximately two weeks (weather dependent). The full closure will help expedite the number of days there is a construction impact at the intersection.
"The City appreciates that this project will be a major disruption and frustration for area businesses and the traveling public, but it is necessary that this storm channel be replaced proactively instead of reacting after the storm pipe and potentially the road collapses," said Councillor Terry Bernard, Chair of the City’s Public Works Department. "The two-week, full closure of the intersection will be very inconvenient, but it will allow the work to be done as quickly as possible. We’re talking about a 40-ft wide trench on a diagonal across the intersection. Trying to direct traffic around it would have been next to impossible and resulted in the work being drawn out for more than a month, versus the two weeks we’re expecting it to take."
The main work will involve the removal of the existing diagonal culverts and reinstating the area as necessary to ensure a properly compacted road bed. The new storm channel alignment will vary slightly from the current position of the old culvert at points in the crossing. The 40-foot wide trench will be dug through the intersection to excavate current pipe and install the new storm channel. The new concrete box culvert has the dimensions of approximately 1.8 metres high by 3.6 metres wide or 6 x 12 feet.
There are a number of reasons the intersection needs to be closed. The following will impact space in the intersection: the trench for the new storm channel; the trenches for removing the old pipes; the positioning of excavation equipment and trucks for soil replacement/removal; a large crane truck with stabilizers to lift new concrete box sections over the power lines and into the new trench; and trailers to supply new box sections to the crane.
Preparation work for this project was completed earlier in the summer. A temporary diversion for the storm water was created to address a limited volume of storm water over a short duration.
Businesses in the immediate area are being contacted directly. The City will be messaging to the media and the general public about the intersection closure daily, advising that area businesses will still be open and accessible from one direction. Reminders will be sent once a week using the City’s traffic advisory option on the Charlottetown Alert System. Signage will be in place around the construction site indicating that businesses are open. Traffic control personnel will be on-site directing traffic and permitting motorists through who indicate they are visiting a business in the area.
"Our goal will be to replace this approximately 75-year-old infrastructure efficiency, safely and properly. The contractor will be working diligently to complete the work as soon as possible," Councillor Bernard said. "They understand the impact this will have on area business and the general public. They expect to be working long days, seven days per week, and are motivated by limiting the time they have a large rented crane on site and limiting the overall impact on the public."
Because the intersection will be closed, motorists are advised to detour around the area unless travelling to a business near the construction site. There are detours established for each of the 12 normal routes through the intersection and the City of Charlottetown has developed maps and signage to help direct visitors, residents and those working in the area. The signage will be posted along each of the detour routes. For more information or to download the suggested detour maps, please visit: www.charlottetown.ca/intersectionwork.php.
City of Charlottetown