Phase II: Step by step

Road work on a warm February day in Moose Jaw. (Crystal Schick/Times-Herald)

Now that phase one of the water main replacement program is complete, city engineers have a better grasp of how things will need to flow to have a successful second phase.

The first step, said Josh Mickleborough, director of engineering services, is to determine which pipelines will be replaced.

“Staff does this by compiling historical breaks and updating information with the breakes in any given year,” he said.

Last year Moose Jaw had more than 80 pipeline burst issues, the most number of breaks in its history. The researchers will take that information, along with previous years, and where any “hot spots” are. There are some pipelines that have burst several times already and are costing the city in repetitive repairs, which is why the engineering department wants to take care of these ones first.

One of the reasons recurring bursts happen is because when crews turn the water off to replace a section of pipeline, the pressure from the water suddenly shooting through the pipe again when the water is turned back on, is too much for the old line and it bursts again in a new spot.

Once the locations of construction are decided on, the pre-design work starts.

“This is gathering all of the background information,” said Mickleborough. is data includes things such as utility locations, some preliminary surveying and any build drawings that could be needed to complete the design work.

“Typically on a project of this size and complexity,” Mickleborough said, “an external engineer would be hired to carry out the design work.”

To do this, a request for proposal has to be completed, firms would then submit proposals and one would eventually be chosen.

For phase two though, the city has decided to use Associated Engineering (AE), the same firm that they used in phase one. Matt Noble, city manager, said it makes sense to continue working with them since they know nuances of the project.

“That’s an efficiency thing,” Noble said. “Phase one is barely cold in the ground, they have all of this knowledge and experience.”

And because the city is resuming with AE, the firm has had a jumpstart on the design work for phase two.

“In the case of the water main replacement project phase two,” said Mickleborough, “this will include communication during the design and tender phases to educate homeowners on the lead service connections.”

When the design work is complete, it is time to get a contractor to do the dirty work.

“These tender documents have the drawings, specifications, materials and amounts of work needed to describe the work and to ultimately complete the project,” said Mickleborough.

“Contractors then submit pricing, or their bid, on what it will cost to complete that work.”

Once a successful contractor is chosen, the construction schedules are drafted and work starts. Since AE already has had a jump start on the design process, the construction crew should be able to be picked by the end of March, Mickleborough said.

For the rest of this story, please pick up a Feb. 17 issue of the print edition, or subscribe to the e-edition here.