Bids evaluated to place Hwy16 utility lines underground

Part of Hwy16 beautification vision

District of Houston consultants are now evaluating bids received last week for another major project planned for this year, placing utility lines underground along Hwy16 from Buck Creek to Butler Ave.

The project, for which the District has budgeted $1.3 million of its own money, continues the District’s longterm vision of not only improving infrastructure but of adding to the visual appeal of the highway as it passes through town.

Involved is placing BC Hydro, Telus and CityWest lines underground with an added benefit of new BC Hydro LED street lighting on new poles.

In costing out the project, District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck said the District is paying for the cost of placing the Telus and CityWest lines underground.

“BC Hydro will be crediting the District for its costs to convert overhead lines to underground,” added Pinchbeck. “The credit includes [a] 33 per cent beautification grant and credits [to the District] for removing aging utility poles.”

Estimates place the BC Hydro financial contribution at $190,000.

“Under our purchasing and tendering policy, given the costs involved for this project, the final decision to award the tender is a matter for council to decide,” Pinchbeck said.

Blending in with this project is another beneficial one to the District, building a sidewalk from Benson to Poulton.

It includes the bases necessary to support the BC Hydro poles for its LED lighting.

This sidewalk work will cost $650,000 and is part of the larger contract for the 9th St. downtown improvement project now underway.

Meanwhile, council is pursuing meetings with provincial and other officials this fall on its continuing lobby for improvements on access from North Nadina Drive and Tweedie Ave. to and from Hwy16.

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