What types of construction will occur during the project
The 2020 Montgomery Place Construction Project includes restoring ditches and culverts to provide a flow path for storm water, water main replacement, lead-line connection removal and replacement, and road reconstruction. Driveways on City-owned right-of-ways (ROWs) will be impacted.
Why is the City proposing this project?
The Montgomery Place neighbourhood has a unique network of ditches and culverts designed for storm water management in a rural setting. Over time, the effectiveness of surface drainage has been compromised as new driveways, landscaping, and erosion altered the ROWs and contributed to basement flooding and nuisance ponding during spring snowmelt and intense rainfalls.This proposed project will improve surface drainage by re-constructing the ditches along ROWs. The City has an opportunity to cost-effectively improve road, water, and storm water infrastructure at the same time.
What are the locations of the project?
- Dundonald Avenue: Caen Street to Currie Avenue
- Caen Street: Dundonald Ave to Currie Avenue
- Lancaster Boulevard: Caen Street to Dieppe Street
A project location map describing the construction along each street is appended at the end of the FAQs.
Why did the City select this area for 2020 construction?
The City has received complaints of flooding and damage because drainage has been blocked. This project area is on the downstream end of Montgomery Place, and is a priority to fix first so that upstream water has somewhere to flow. Reconstruction of ditches in this area can also be done cost effectively with water main replacements and road reconstruction to improve overall infrastructure in the area.
My property hasn’t flooded. Why is a ditch and culvert being installed in the right-of-way adjacent to my property?
Driveways without culverts and ROWs without ditches impede the flow of storm water runoff and snow melt, and contribute to flooding and damage for upstream neighbours. This project will provide a clear path for water to flow to the new catch basin being constructed on Dundonald Avenue, thereby reducing ponding and/or flooding conditions for the drainage area.
What is the current City Standard for private driveways that cross the City-owned right-of-ways in Montgomery Place?
The City’s standard for driveway crossings in Montgomery Place has been 6.1 metres (20 ft) since 2000, which is consistent with the standard for driveways in Saskatoon neighbourhoods with vertical curbs. A 2018 audit found that over half of the driveways in Montgomery Place are wider than 6.1 metres, and over one in four driveways have no culvert.
Culverts underlying driveway crossings that are longer than 6.1 metres are more time consuming to thaw during spring melt. Citizens are responsible for keeping their culverts clear as the City has limited resources to provide assistance in thawing culverts when there is very high demand in a short time.
The City is currently evaluating several options for a more appropriate driveway crossing standard in Montgomery Place.
Why is the City evaluating an increase to the current maximum driveway width standard?
The City is balancing various interests including reducing flood risk to an acceptable level for the neighbourhood, and providing citizens with preferred property access and parking. The City recognizes that some driveways were constructed prior to standards being in place.
The City’s evaluation for maximum driveway width will consider neighbourhood drainage requirements, flood risk, and other unique characteristics such as larger lot sizes, narrow streets, parking availability, and existing conditions. Potential driveway crossing standard options include the following:
- Maximum driveway width (e.g. 8 m) for all driveways;
- Maximum driveway width based on lot frontage; and,
- Maximum driveway width set to a value based on flood modelling and ditch design configuration.
How will my driveway be impacted?
A 300 mm PVC or concrete culvert will be installed underneath all driveways within the ROW. The City of Saskatoon will also restore the driveway crossing to the pre-construction material (i.e. concrete driveway will be restored with concrete) up to a maximum. Consultations are being conducted to get input on driveway restorations.
Will the trees on City of Saskatoon right-of-ways be impacted?
The City is working to save as many existing trees as possible. There are 148 trees located on ROWs within the project area, and 135 of these trees are expected to be saved. The slopes of the ditches around some trees will need to be steeper than other areas to protect the trees and provide effective drainage. The map appended at the end of the FAQs shows where trees will need to be removed.
How steep will be the newly constructed ditch (difficulty for maintaining and cutting grass)?
The side slopes of the ditches are 3.5H:1V or 3H:1V with the exception of around some trees. The regular ditch slope is blended to approximately 2H:1V (similar to the slopes on Haida Ave.) near the base of trees to preserve them throughout and after the project. Please keep in mind the steep slope sections are quite small compared to the regular slope ditch length.
When will the project start and how long will the proposed project take?
The project is proposed to start in June 2020. The project is expected to take 3 to 4 months to complete.
How much will the project cost and how will it be funded?
The project, including drainage improvements, water main replacements, and roadway paving, is estimated to cost a total of $3.6 million, with most of it funded by the Storm Water Utility and City of Saskatoon Capital Reserves.
The Lead Water Pipe Replacement Program is funded through a cost sharing agreement with 60% paid by the City and 40% paid by the homeowner. See the Water and Sewer Upgrades page for more information.
How much will I have to pay for my driveway reconstruction?
Estimated costs of existing driveways and culverts range from about $3,000 to $39,000, with an average estimated cost of approximately $10,000.
Several cost sharing options have been evaluated. Property owners with compliant driveways and culverts (i.e., those with culverts and driveways no wider than 6.1 metres / 20 feet) will not be required to pay for their driveway reconstruction. For those properties with non-compliant driveways over City Right of Way, the City is considering two options for cost sharing the culvert installation and driveway reconstruction:
- Homeowners with non-compliant driveways pay 40% of the costs; or
- Homeowners with non-compliant driveways pay for any costs over $10,000.
Are drainage improvements planned for other areas in Montgomery Place in the future?
The City intends to develop a long-term drainage plan for the Montgomery Place neighbourhood by the end of 2020. The plan will identify the areas proposed for future construction and timing subject to available funding.
How come there are so many driveways in Montgomery Place that do not meet the standards?
Many factors occurring over decades have contributed to the current situation of driveways and landscaping. Some driveways were constructed prior to standards being in place. Some property owners may not have fully considered the impact of their driveways on their neighbours. Most driveways were constructed without ROW Crossing permits. The City has not had the resources in place to continually inspect the driveways and enforce compliance. However, a new process is now in place to increase awareness of requirements and enforce permits.
Who is responsible for maintaining right-of-ways in Montgomery Place?
The City seeks to minimize property taxes by not assuming the responsibility and cost of activities that benefit individual property owners and/or can be carried out cost effectively by citizens. As a result, citizens have the primary responsibility for maintaining the ROWs which includes mowing ROW grass in front of their properties and maintaining drainage. Property owners can apply for permits to construct driveways across the ROW but must adhere to crossing standards that maintain drainage for their neighbours. Citizens who have driveway crossings through the ROW are responsible for ensuring that culverts are clear and that drainage is not blocked.
Because of the extent of the storm water drainage erosion in Montgomery Place, the City is restoring the flow paths based on priority areas and available funding.
Why aren’t underground storm sewers being installed instead of ditches and culverts?
The cost to install underground storm water pipes is very expensive, especially in older areas where there is other underground infrastructure. Property owners in new neighbourhoods pay for the cost through a development levy. In the past, new underground storm water pipes were included in the infrastructure proposed for Montgomery Place, to be cost shared by citizens through a neighbourhood improvement levy. However, neighbourhood citizens rejected this proposal so the ditch and culvert system has been retained.