Lacombe is about to start work on the second part of a major project to prevent flooding after the community was hit hard by rainstorms in 2010 and 2011.
About $3 million will be spent in all in upgrading storm water mains and increasing the capacity of the Bruns Storm Pond at Heritage Way and Woodland Drive.
A 1.2-metre storm water trunk line was installed last year to better drain water and eliminate a chokepoint in the system that was causing water to back up in low-lying areas after heavy downpours.
Boosting the line capacity will allow four times more water to be drained.
In the next few days, work is expected to begin on a $540,000 initiative to expand the Bruns pond to 22,000 cubic metres from 13,000 cubic metres.
The excavation will cover both sides of an existing walking trail, which will be closed to the public until the project is finished. Excavation is expected to be done by April with landscaping and trail reconstruction to be finished around mid-June.
In a cost-saving move, the city combined the pond work with a reclamation project at an old sand pit about 1.6 km east of Lacombe.
Jordan Thompson, the city’s engineering services manager, said the cost of the reclamation project was initially estimated at $70,000. But the city will save about $45,000 by using excess clay and topsoil from the pond excavation to fill in the former sand pit, which is no longer needed.
Sand is typically used for bedding around pipelines and other underground structures.
Some of the dirt dug out of the pond will be used for the North West Recreation Area project.
The nearly $1-million project to create four soccer pitches at the Northwest Recreation Area is already underway. Three and a half soccer pitches have been completed and were seeded last year.
Drainage and parking lot work will take place this year and the fields are expected to be ready for play next year.
The new site is needed because soccer pitches at Michener Park must be moved to make way for new baseball diamonds.
Another $617,000 project to improve sewer capacity and prevent backups was completed by the city last year and funded through the federal Gas Tax Fund.