A tunnel stabilization project under 32nd Street is running overtime, but not overbudget, says a city official.
The $2-million stabilization of an aging tunnel that allows Red Deer trail users to pass under 32nd Street has been underway since August.
It was expected to be completed by the end of October. But heavy equipment and workers can still be seen working on the pedestrian tunnel, south of Kin Kanyon.
Lee Birn, engineer planning superintendent for the City of Red Deer, said the costs of the project have not changed, despite a delay caused by the contractor, and some sub-contractors, having scheduling difficulties and taking a Christmas break.
Part of the underground passageway is now open to trail users, said Birn.
But the construction project isn’t expected to be completed until the end of February. Painting and planting will have to wait for spring, when the snow is gone and temperatures are milder.
Birn noted the project was started after a city worker noticed that one of four retaining walls around the pedestrian underpass had shifted out of position. As these concrete forms were installed in 1962, Birn said, it was time for a “rehabilitation project of the existing concrete structure.”
The retaining walls had to be anchored and “pinned back.” They are also slated to become more aesthetically pleasing with the addition of new architectural details.
The tunnel is being better aligned with the trails, getting rid of “abrupt” corners that are a challenge for cyclists.
And the interior of the passageway is being sand-blasted and will be repainted with an anti-graffiti coating, said Birn.