In 2017, the City of Whitehorse initiated a process to reconstruct the portion of Alexander Street from 2nd to 4th Avenues, along with the portion of 3rd Avenue between Alexander and Black Streets. This project is referred to as the Alexander Street Local Improvement (LI) Project. Public consultation has included an online survey, public meeting, and property owner vote. City Council voted to approve the project on November 14, 2017. Construction work was completed in 2019 by Castle Rock Enterprises.
View the links below to read what was discussed at the public and City Council meetings.
- November 6, 2017, Public Hearing Report (includes results of the property owner vote)
- September 18, 2017, Administrative Report (includes property owner charges)
- August 9, 2017, Public Meeting Displays (9 MB, use zoom for more detail)
A Detailed Design was prepared over the winter of 2017/18 and a construction tender was issued. Construction began in spring 2018. Approximately 14% of project costs was covered through an LI charge collected from property owners; the remaining costs was financed through contributions from the Build Canada Fund, Yukon Government, and City reserves.
Project Goals and Rationale
The Alexander LI Project is proceeding to:
- Replace aging water and sewer mains: The pipes that run underneath Alexander Street date back to the 1950s and are constructed of a material that typically has a functional life of 40 to 65 years. To optimize life cycle costs, it would be best to renew this infrastructure before disruptive and costly repairs are required.
- Replace bleeding water services: Many buildings periodically “bleed” (release) water during cold months to prevent services from freezing. Bleeding wastes a vast amount of treated potable water and adds it into the sewage system, increasing costs for treatment and pumping. The City is seeking to replace bleeders with recirculating services to eliminate this waste.
- Improve service capacity: The 150 mm diameter water mains on Alexander St need to be up-sized to ensure that flows to the properties are adequate for current and future demands, and to increase available flow capacity at hydrants.
- Replace deteriorating road surface: The paved road surface of Alexander St is deteriorating, drainage is poor, and potholes are a common occurrence. The roadway has reached the end of its useful life, meaning that it is no longer economical to perform regular maintenance and repair, and it instead requires a complete rehabilitation.
- Improve pedestrian infrastructure: Alexander St is a busy area that is considerably lacking in pedestrian infrastructure. The City is striving to create a more accessible Downtown through the development of barrier free sidewalks that provide comfort and safety for pedestrians and people with mobility aid devices.
The City will pay for all underground works in the road right-of-way and for a new recirculating water service on each property all the way to the front of the building/residence. The property owner will be responsible for purchasing a recirculating pump and for any related indoor plumbing work (estimated at $2,000 to $3,000), and will have the option to replace their sewer service while the reconstruction project is underway (estimated at $100 per metre).
Sharing of the cost of surface works is described in the City’s LI Policy, and the charge is applied to each property’s frontage on a per-metre basis. The 2017 LI Charge rates are as follows:
- Government: $1,900/metre of frontage (full rate)
- Commercial: $1,266/metre of frontage (2/3 of rate)
- Residential and non-profit: $633/metre of frontage (1/3 of rate)
The LI Charge is set at the time of the Bylaw and will not increase regardless of actual costs. It can be paid as a lump-sum, or in installments over 15 years as part of the Municipal tax bill, at the best interest rate the City can secure at the time.
Taylor Eshpeter, Assistant Engineer, (867) 689-2143, firstname.lastname@example.org