Installing five kilometres of force main — a pressurized pipeline designed to move sewage from one location to another when gravity alone can’t do the job — from the Midhurst Heights development to the wastewater treatment plant on Snow Valley Road is scheduled to take 35 weeks.
According to information presented at an open house at the Midhurst United Church on Thursday night hosted by the developer, Rose Corporation, the installation will be rolled out in 2024 in three stages. The developer is hoping to start construction on the project this month.
Stage one will take 12 weeks and will cover the area of Finlay Mill Road between Wattie Road and Doran Road. Stage two is scheduled to take six weeks to complete and will cover Doran Road between Finlay Mill Road and Gill Road. Stage three will take 17 weeks to complete and will cover Finlay Mill Road between County Road 27 and Wattie Road.
The project’s manager, Brittany Robertson of Crozier Consulting Engineers, said 35 weeks is the target, but given the state of the construction industry these days, she expects it might take a little longer.
“Our goal is to complete the entire project within one year,” she said. “It’s very important for the municipality and the local councillors to minimize the impact on existing residents.”
According to Robertson, that’s why the project was designed in stages.
“We want to tackle one chunk at a time,” she said. “Get in, finish it and go on to the next.”
To keep the project on schedule, Robertson says they decided to install the force main via directional drilling, a process that reduces the impact of traffic flow.
In this particular case, the process should go relatively quickly as there is no existing infrastructure along the route, according to Robertson.
Crews will drill a pilot hole along the planned route between two pre-determined points. A pipe will be drilled through to each point, the force main will be connected and pulled back through the excavation route, back to the starting point.
It’s a favoured method of installing underground utilities as it causes minimum disruption to surface structures.
“One of the advantages is that we will be able to go 200 to 400 metres without having to open-cut the road,” Robertson said.
The Midhurst Heights development is a 1,400-unit residential development bound by Russell Road to the east, Doran Road to the south, Gill Road to the west and the new Craig Road to the north.
To service the development, external upgrades are required inclusive of the installation of the force main. Improvements are also required to Gill, Doran and Finlay Mill roads to accommodate future traffic and improve what’s called ‘active transportation’ — getting around using human power (walking, cycling, etc.) — within the community.
“At the end of the day, we hope to provide a road that’s significantly improved to what was there before,” Robertson said. “Active transportation, traffic calming — all things that will drastically benefit the community to offset the inconvenience.”
Robertson estimated the cost of the almost three kilometres of road improvements done during this project will be about $10 million.
The overall cost of the project hasn’t been determined but taxpayers can take solace in knowing they’re not paying for it.
“It’s entirely a developer carried cost, there is no existing contribution from municipal tax dollars,” Robertson said.
To address resident concerns regarding possible damage to their property during construction, the developers are offering free pre- and post-construction surveys of their homes.
“A third-party firm will come and do an inspection of the existing condition of a home and identify is there’s any issues before construction or if the house is in great repair,” Robertson said. “After construction, if anyone has any concerns, this third-party contractor will come in and take a look at it and compare it to photos taken before construction so the homeowners are protected.”
Robertson says her firm does this on every project, and thus far, there have been no issues.
Midhurst property owners located along the proposed construction route can contact Robertson via email at [email protected] for more information on this service.