District workers fix up the municipal sign as well as many other projects around town including a major culvert.

District workers fix up the municipal sign as well as many other projects around town including a major culvert.

Vanderhoof construction heats up before freeze-up

The District of Vanderhoof has been working on several projects to improve various projects for motorists and pedestrians alike.

The District of Vanderhoof has been working on several projects to improve various projects, including roads for motorists and pedestrians alike.

These projects include work on culverts, a water main, pedestrian crosswalks and new bathrooms at Ferland Park. The public works department of Vanderhoof has been working hard to get all the underground construction finished before the weather makes it nearly impossible.

Pedestrian Crosswalk

Pedestrians trying to cross the road near Stewart Street and Burrard Avenue have been experiencing some delays and a couple of failures from the crosswalk signal.

Paul Carver, Director of Operations for Vanderhoof, said that the problem was caused, in part, by water infiltration into the underground wiring conduit.

“It’s been troublesome for us here for the last little while and it’s been getting worse and worse,” said Carver. “Obviously pedestrian safety is very important to us so it’s very important that it be operating at 100 per cent all the time.”

So the workers have replaced the conduit in the ground as well as control boxes so that water isn’t going to be a problem anymore.

The district had electricians out before to fix the problem numerous times but that was just a band-aid on the problem according to Carver. So the district decided to tear it up and permanently fix the problem as part of Carver’s proactive policy on district repairs and infrastructure.

This has left a road cut across the road. The electrical contractor still has to pull cable through the new conduit, so it will be a week or so yet before it’s all finished. But temporary patching has been put down and the pavers will be in district in the next few weeks to finish it.

Because of the area of the road work, the contractor had to do all the work from around 6 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning.

Water main upgrade

The tender closed September 6 to award the contract to design, build and install a new water main south of Highway 16. The water main will be for Clark Avenue between Third and Fourth Street continuing into Third Street between Clark Avenue and Pine Street.

Picture a shape like the letter L and you’ve got the idea.

“We’re replacing the water main. That main is causing us problems. It’s an old cast iron system, that’s prone to leaks and breaks. It needs to be replaced to cut down on maintenance costs and disruptions to our customers down there.”

There is $305,000 allocated in the budget for this project and will be a much larger main than the old one increasing water flows and pressures for residents in the area.

The project will take three to four weeks to complete and Carver estimates the work will be finished sometime before the end of October.

By the time the water main is in, the snows will have arrived, so paving the roads will no longer be an option. Vanderhoof will have to wait until spring before putting blacktop down and finishing the boulevards. The disturbed areas will however be all buttoned up for the winter.

The design-build contract has been awarded to local contractor Van-Con Enterprises.  Because it is a design-build project, this will allow Vanderhoof to only deal with one contractor who will complete all the work of constructing and dealing with engineers and so on.

“It’s an all in one package,” said Carver. “It helps us out because then I’m not dealing with our own engineers for the survey and design. All that stuff could delay the project this time of year, it’s quite involved, so this actually does help out with time and as far as staff time goes, there is some cost savings as well.”

Fire protection

The District of Vanderhoof is going to install two large in-ground tanks to help out with fire protection services. One tank will go in at the corner of Derksen and MacDonald Road and the other will be buried near the western intersection of Loop Road and Old Loop Road.

Each tank holds 20,000 gallons of water to supplement fire protection in that area. One might never notice them except as two mounds in the ground.

There are already two tanks near the Vanderhoof airport that have been in service since late last year.

These are actually former fuel tanks that have been repurposed to hold water. Municipal budget cost to for each is $30,000 each. The tanks have to go through a lot of prep work and retrofitted before they can be placed in the ground.

So now there is improved fire protection at the airport, not only just for the airport but also for the outlying area. These tanks will assist the fire department, whereas the fire departments will not have to commute as far to obtain water. The department’s equipment will be able to draw water directly from these tanks.

“If you’re in an area with no fire protection, no hydrants or water mains, you have to keep transporting water all the time,” said Carver. “Now we have those storage tanks there so it reduces the need for us to go back into district, so it helps the outlying areas,


Major culvert on MacDonald Road will soon be replaced. Only the new one will be a slipped into the old one, which means less work for the district, less cost and less disturbance for motorists.

Work is planned to be completed before winter freeze-up.

Vacuum truck

There is $350,000 in the Capital Budget to purchase a new Vacuum Truck for the public works equipment fleet.

This new unit will replace two older 1970s units. One is a sewer flusher truck and the other an older style vacuum truck. This major purchase will be put out to public tender in the very near future. As this will be a customized order, it will be a number of months before we take delivery.

The new Vacuum Truck, with new technology, will do double duty. This unit will be much more effective and will require less ongoing maintenance in comparison to the old units, which will save Vanderhoof money in the long term.