August 14, 2017 – West Fernie Update

Construction Update – Phase 2

Construction is progressing.   Currently, the underground mains in McDonald, McLeod, Sparling, Hand, Beaver, Burma and Stewart are complete.  Hazelwood, the contractor, will be working on Beach and Colclough underground mains and services this week.  They have started testing the watermain and sanitary sewer in some areas.  Once testing has passed, they will connect their new watermain into the existing system and start switching over everyone’s water services.  We will keep everyone posted on when the new watermain is live in each area, since we know some people have work to do on their property.  The sanitary sewer is not expected to be permitted for connection until the end of the project, scheduled for this fall.

Hazelwood also started coring out and placing road gravels in Stewart last week, and will continue installing gravels this week.  They will also be working on Burma and Beach down to Hoath.  The road crew is then expected to move to McLeod, McDonald, Sparling and Hand.

Construction Update – Phase 1

Dawson, the Phase 1 contractor, is also still on site working on the storm main installation in front of Silverrock, the lift station and forcemain on Colclough just north of the highway, the ditching and some clean up items.  We are having trouble finding the right kind of topsoil for the ditching – it needs to meet certain specifications to have the storm design work.  Both our consultant and contractor are working on a solution which is expected shortly.  We recognize this has been a huge inconvenience and hope to have the ditches filled in very soon.

Water shutdowns

There were a couple of unexpected water shutdowns last week and I apologize for not getting the word out to you right away.  Sometimes it’s for such a brief period (15-20 minutes) that it’s over before I can get the word out.  The Contractor does attempt to notify residents when there is a shutdown, especially when it will last more than a short time.  I expect there will be some planned shutdowns in the coming weeks when the contractor makes all the new watermain live, and we will provide a head’s up on those.


We’ve had a couple of questions about access.  With the number of dead ends streets in West Fernie, access can be a challenge.  The Contractor is permitted to close roads during working hours, but must have the road open at the end of their work day – but they try to work with residents and those requiring access where possible.  Please be aware that just because a machine is sitting in a road, does not mean there isn’t access.  If you need to access your property, speak with the guys on site – sometimes the machine is blocking your view of an access route.  If not, the contractor may be able to move some material to provide access.  Moving material may take 15 to 20 minutes, so they can finish what they are doing and do it in a way that they can also keep moving forward on their work.

If you have an issue with access that you don’t think was properly resolved, you can call Elizabeth at the RDEK and she can address your concerns.  She can be reached at 250-489-2791 or tollfree 1-888-478-7335 or by email  She’s often on site on Tuesdays, so you can set up a time to meet too.

Access in an Emergency

There was concern raised about emergency vehicle access or access in an emergency.  If an emergency vehicle required access, the contractor would stop everything and do what was required to get the vehicle through right away.  Hazelwood is also in contact with emergency services to let them know when routes are inaccessible, notably the Beach to Burma stretch.

Storm System

We have also had a number of calls in the last little while about the storm system.  We are working on a summary that will explain how it works.

We had a couple of complaints Friday that covered a few different issues, and we want to make sure you know that we appreciate your calls.  Construction, especially of this magnitude, is a huge inconvenience and it extends over a long period of time.  We appreciate everyone’s patience and look forward to providing the upgraded water system, new sanitary sewer and storm sewer systems for everyone’s use.  If you are having trouble with the construction, please contact Elizabeth directly so she can gather all the information, discuss with the contractor and let you know how it’s been handled.  The contractors also want to know, so they can address your concerns.  Mike or Ryan with Hazelwood are always on site, as is Mark with Dawson.  The RDEK also has Blake or Trevor on site full time as our engineering representative.

Have a good week,