The City of Lacombe has received international recognition for its downtown revitalization.
The Lacombe Main Street Program, a collaborative between the city, Stantec Consulting Ltd. and Pidherney’s Inc., earned the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision Silver Award for sustainable infrastructure.
The award “represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of collaboration that’s occurred over the lifecycle of this project. We’re happy to be the recipients of this award – it’s very exciting,” said Jordan Thompson, Lacombe’s director of operations and planning.
This is the first project in Alberta, and the fifth in Canada, to receive an Envision Award.
In order to attain silver status through the Washington, D.C.-based institute, a project must deliver a range of environmental, social and economic benefits to a community.
Thompson said the city launched the program after it was faced with a unique challenge: replacing its downtown sanitary sewer main after issues were identified in 2015. The project grew into a $6.75-million downtown revitalization, which was delivered on schedule and under budget in the summer of 2018.
“We needed to put together, in relatively short order, a project that would reduce the impact of construction for this type of project.
“We also utilized a unique procurement methodology, which means we hired a contractor early on in the process to be involved in making the decisions and formulating a construction plan,” he said.
Dan Willis, project manager with Pidherney’s, said early involvement in the project design allowed the team to gain a more detailed understanding of how to schedule and co-ordinate with the downtown community.
“We were able to participate in presentations and stakeholder engagements that provided the most detailed and accurate information possible on schedules and methodology well in advance of construction.
“In turn, the downtown community brought forth specific concerns and comments that allowed the project to reach a new level of service during completion,” said Willis.
Ben Haeusler, project manager from Stantec, said the Lacombe Main Street Program puts the city “on the leading edge of infrastructure and asset management.
“In the engineering world, we often like to brag about nerdy things like technical specifications … but the really unique thing about this project that brought it home was the team and collaboration,” he said.
The program also received the American Public Works Association’s 2018 project of the year award for Alberta.