Cook Street Local Improvement Project

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Overview 

The City of Whitehorse has initiated a process to reconstruct Cook Street from 4th Avenue to the escarpment, along with the portions of 5th, 7th, and 8th Avenues between Ogilvie and Wheeler Streets. This project is referred to as the Cook Street Local Improvement (LI) Project.

Process

The project was introduced to City Council in March 2019, and was discussed again in April to correct the information presented. A public hearing was held on May 6. property owner vote was launched that closed on May 21. The result of the vote was supportive of advancing the project. City Council approved the project on June 10. A tender has been issued to hire a consultant to prepare a detailed design. View the reports below: 

An online survey and public meeting occurred in summer 2018 to collect input from property owners and residents to help inform a preliminary design (view the displays,10 MB).

The earliest potential start for construction is spring 2020. 

Project Goals and Rationale

 

The Cook Street LI Project is proceeding to: 

  • Replace aging water and sewer mains: The water and sewer mains that run underneath Cook Street date back to the 1950s and are constructed of asbestos cement. This material typically has a functional life of 40 to 65 years. The City would like to renew this infrastructure before disruptive and costly repairs are required.   
  • Replace bleeding water services: Many buildings in Downtown have water systems that periodically “bleed” (release) water during cold months to prevent services from freezing. The City is seeking to replace bleeders with recirculating services because this practice consumes a vast amount of water, which is expensive and energy intensive for the City to treat to potable standards, heat, and circulate. The practice also contributes to dilution of the sanitary lagoon, which inhibits its proper functioning.
  • Improve service capacity: The 150 mm diameter water mains that currently service Cook Street require up-sizing to ensure that fire-flow requirements are met. Larger mains will also help to ensure that service provision is adequately maintained for current and future residents, in light of new development in the area.
  • Replace deteriorating road surface: The paved road surface of Cook Street 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: 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.      

Costs

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 2018 LI Charge rates are as follows:

  • Government: $1,936.56/metre of frontage (full rate)
  • Commercial: $1,291.04/metre of frontage (2/3 of the rate)
  • Residential and non-profit: $645.52/metre of frontage (1/3 of the 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.

Contact 

Taylor Eshpeter, Assistant Engineer, (867) 689-2143, taylor.eshpeter@whitehorse.ca