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Background

On October 8, 2020, during an inspection of a sewer trunk line that runs 23 metres below 61 Ave, a 2.5 metre long opening was discovered along the top of the sewer trunk line. Further investigation into the emergent issue revealed that materials surrounding the trunk line had eroded, creating an underground void above the trunk line at the intersection of 61 Ave and 109 St. The sewer trunk line is 1650mm in diameter and carries both storm and sanitary flows.

There is no structural risk to homes and businesses in the area. Based on assessments, it appeared the void area was limited to a section under 61 Ave. We continue to monitor the roadway and surrounding infrastructure for any changes.

What's happening now

EPCOR is in the process of repairing the sewer trunk line and the void above the trunk line. Due to additional ground stabilization work and challenges with the extreme cold temperatures in February, the intersection is now expected to reopen at the end of July 2021. After drilling shafts 23 metres deep to reach the trunk line, we removed debris from the line with high pressure flushing and installed a bypass. A bypass takes flows from the below-ground drainage system and brings them above the ground in a pipe to discharge the flows away from the work site. The void that had formed above the trunk line was filled in December 2020. In January 2021, a ground stabilization study was done to confirm the void was filled. The study determined that air pockets still remained below the surface, making the work area unstable and unsafe for our crews to work underground to install the new fiberglass pipe. The work to fill the additional air pockets was completed in early March 2021. Additional cleaning of the trunk line is currently underway and the installation of the new pipe is expected to be complete at the end of April. Crews will then work to re-connect the repaired pipe to the existing infrastructure. Once connected, the bypass will be removed. This is anticipated to be completed in mid-May. Next, crews will build up and convert the shafts that were constructed for the repair and bypass into manholes for future access to the trunk line for inspections and maintenance. The road will then be restored and the intersection reopened, with the expected completion of the entire project at the end of July 2021.

Odours & noise in the area

Residents will continue to notice sewer odours in the area as a result of the bypass. While there are sewer odours present at the work site, there have also been strong odours reported at the intersection of 61 Ave and 106 St, east of the work site. We believe odour from the bypass is being pushed downstream in the system and venting out of the catch basins on the street at 106 St. We are monitoring sewer odour levels in the area and are working to implement solutions to reduce the odours.

Traffic impacts

See traffic impacts

Schedule

View schedule

Safety and COVID-19

Prioritizing safety

​Traffic impacts

The intersection of 61 Ave and 109 St is closed for the duration of our repair work. As a result, there are significant traffic impacts in the area as outlined on the map.

We continue to work with the City of Edmonton to address traffic issues that arise as a result of the closed intersection. The City of Edmonton traffic group is responsible for determining the traffic plan, including recommended detours, with input from EPCOR. The City has made changes to the set-up of traffic signs and barricades to address the traffic concerns that have been raised. We have also requested Traffic Enforcement monitor the area for traffic infractions.

We expect the intersection to remain closed until the end of July 2021. We ask that motorists take their time, follow signage and consider taking alternate routes if possible. The following traffic impacts remain in effect:

  • Westbound 63 Ave is reduced to one lane starting at Gateway Blvd.
  • Westbound 61 Ave is closed at 109 St and traffic is redirected to 109 St northbound.
  • Eastbound 61 Ave, west of the intersection, is closed at 109 St and traffic is redirected to 109 St northbound.
  • Eastbound 61 Ave, east of the intersection, is reduced to one lane until 106 St.
  • Northbound 109 St from the Pleasantview neighbourhood is closed. Access to the Husky and Circle K will be maintained from both entrances.
  • Southbound 109 St will be closed at 63 Ave and redirected to westbound 61 Ave.
  • One lane of southbound 109 St is open adjacent to the McDonald's to provide customer access to the restaurant from the east entrance. The only exit from the McDonald's is northbound 109 St.
  • Access to the back lane west of 109 St and north of 60 Ave is closed from 109 St. Access to the back lane will be maintained from 110 St/60 Ave.

Detours

  • Gateway Blvd and 82 Ave
  • Calgary Trail and 51 Ave
  • 111 St and 51 Ave

Emergency work map

 

Schedule

We anticipate our repair work to be completed and the intersection to be reopened at the end of July 2021. However, the work and timelines are estimates and may change based on safety and work conditions and the condition assessment of the drainage infrastructure as the project progresses. The bypass will run 24/7 until it is removed, to manage the sanitary flows for our customers. We expect to remove the bypass in mid-May.

Typical hours of work will continue to be from 7am to 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday. If required, these hours may be extended.

​Safety

We continue to receive concerning reports of traffic signs and barricades being moved to block portions of the road in an effort to reduce traffic entering local streets from 109 St. This is a serious safety concern, as it is creating confusion and visibility issues for motorists and has caused near traffic incidents. Residents should not move or modify signs and barricades, and EPCOR has asked the City of Edmonton to monitor the area and ticket anyone found to be relocating signs and/or barricades. This is a $250 ticket.

The construction area in the intersection will continue to be fenced and marked as restricted. We will take every precaution to ensure public safety, and we request your assistance in keeping a safe distance from the construction site and the equipment. Please continue to leave the signs and barricades in place, and let us know if any have been moved.

Covid-19

EPCOR is closely monitoring our work related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Protocols are in place to protect the health of customers and our employees and teams while they perform essential work. We ask residents to please keep a safe two-metre distance from our crews.