The City of Rossland held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the nearly complete Washington Street project on Thursday afternoon.
Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore, several city councillors and many members of the City’s staff came out to Washington St. and Second Ave. to celebrate the mostly completed infrastructure project.
“Today is our soft opening,” explained Mayor Moore. “We’ll do a much bigger celebration in the spring.”
Work done to Washington St. included replacing important underground infrastructure, as well as re-paving the street and putting in new sidewalks and bike lanes. Landscaping still needs to be done, but won’t be complete until next spring.
Though there were some delays during the Washington Street project, Moore said the work finished more or less on time.
“We anticipated that we would finish right about now and we did,” she said. “There were a couple of places during the project that we got behind, but then they made time up. I mean they were looking to pave and it was raining, … then when the weather cleared they were out there working hard as could be on a Sunday and they got it done.”
“We are really, really pleased with the way this project came together, really from start to finish. There could have been all kinds of things that went wrong and none of them did,” Moore added. “When you do construction like this in a rocky town like Rossland, you never know what you’re going to get, but this worked out.”
So far, the project also seems to have finished on budget.
“We haven’t gotten all of the final numbers in, but we’re well within the contingency, so we feel it’s on budget,” said Moore.
During her ribbon-cutting speech, Mayor Moore also thanked the Washington Street Advisory Task Force, which included Dave Watson, Don Smith, Riley Spencer and Matt Tonner. Afterwards, she explained that she felt the Columbia Avenue project could have benefited from the help of a similar task force.
“They helped Darrin [Albo, manager of public works,] with some technical stuff, some engineering stuff, just gave him another set of eyes to look at it, and that’s something that I really wish we’d had on the Columbia project, where we didn’t,” said Moore. “There were a lot of things we learned from Columbia that I think we did better on this job.”
“The task force was one of the things,” she added. “Also doing the pre-rock look. There was some radar work and some drilling that went down that we did before anything happened, so we really had a good idea where the rock was going to be, where we might be likely to encounter rock. So that prepared us better than what happened on Columbia.”