June 20th, 2024

City projects approved for federal funding

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 11, 2022.

Herald file photo A sign marks the designated cycle route along 7 Avenue South.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The City of Lethbridge has obtained more than $3 million in federal Active Transportation Fund grants to proceed with three projects.

City council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve two amendments to the 2022-31 Capital Improvement Program.

The first amendment will apply $3.05 million in federal funding to go toward three initiatives including the construction of a Highway 3 pathway from Mayor Magrath Drive to W.T. Hill Industrial Park. This pathway will include a new pedestrian rail crossing.

The second project involves cycle lane improvements within the roadway on stretches of 4 Avenue South and 7 St. S.

A third project is for the preliminary design of a new pedestrian bridge on Stafford Drive South over the CP Rail line and Highway 3.

All three projects are intended to increase pedestrian, cycling and other active modes of transportation at the locations, which a report to council says will “improve all active modes of travel, improving social equity at no cost to the taxpayer.”

The CIP was approved by previous council on June 1 last year. In the fall of 2021, Infrastructure Canada created a new grant program called the ATF with funding submissions required to meet strict criteria. The City was awarded funding for all three projects it applied for.

To receive ATF grants, the federal government requires an official document “demonstrating authorization for the organization via a bylaw or resolution to enter into agreement” with the ATF.

The second CIP amendment reflects a reduced scope and budget and change in location for a building expansion.

This project originally involved the design and construction of a fleet and equipment storage space on the existing West Lethbridge depot site at the north end of University Drive.

A design completed in 2021 suggested the storage building would cost more than $2 million above the approved construction budget.

A recent operational review of the City’s Public Operations facilities showed more desire to expand the sanitation garage facility at the north yard. Estimated construction costs of a sanitation garage expansion is $1.4 million compared to at least $7.8 million for a new building at the westside yard.

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