Some interesting information.
The City of Thunder Bay is replacing the sewer and water lines on the stretch of Algoma Street between John Street and Bay Street. Last year the same work was done between Bay Street and Pearl Street.
Between John Street and Algoma Street, the City of Thunder Bay is installing trees in the sidewalk similar to the ones that were installed at Prince Arthur’s Landing. The product being used for this installation is the Silva Cell. Forty – six cells are required at a cost of $6,000 each. That adds up to $276,000 before you add in the cost of the trees. How many trees are they going to plant? Does it work out to $10,000 per tree? $15,000 per tree? $20,000 per tree? One thing for sure. Its expensive to plant trees in concrete.
If you want to find out more about this product and how it works, click here.. Its hard to believe the cells cost $6,000 a piece, installed mind you but still……
So what’s up with the trees? Who gets trees planted on their street? Lucky people that’s who. Very lucky people.
The fact that the stretch of Algoma Street located between John Street and Bay Street is the home of a business owned by Councillor Aldo Ruberto is just a coincidence and has nothing to the planting of $300,000 worth of trees. Mr. Ruberto’s building is also home to Michael Gravelle’s Constituency Office. It is also just a coincidence that the section of Algoma Street between Bay Street and Pear Street completed last year did not have any trees planted. Also, that chunk of Algoma does not have a business owned by a sitting city councillor. Another coincidence?
So how to pay for those Silva Cells and trees when money is pretty tight in the city right now? Well, what I noticed is that the roadbed material being excavated to allow for the installation of the new sewer and water lines is being used as backfill for that same excavation. The material is loaded into a truck. The truck drives around to the other end and dumps that material. A backhoe then uses that material to cover the new pipes. Sounds great until you really have a look at what they are digging up and what they are putting back in the road. Stuff dug up from below the frost line is put back above the frost line. Clay, silt, roots, black earth, large rocks. It is all going back in the hole. Is that good? I don’t think so. Hey, but what do I know, right? Paasquale Mauro is an PEng and I’m not and its not like he has any responsibility if everything goes to hell after only one year. Job for life.
What I am sure about is material above the frost line, say 1.5 m to 1.8 m, needs to be a material that drains well. Clay and silt are extremely bad. Organics are bad. Large rocks are bad.
By using the excavated material as backfill material, money is saved. Quite a bit actually. There. You have paid for those trees. The street will likely require an investment of maintenance dollars after only a few years but who cares right? That is way off in the future. Maybe as far off as five years.
Value for money? I believe not. Business as usual? I’m afraid so.