MORRISBURG – The Municipality of South Dundas is looking at resurfacing an added 230 metres on the south end of County Road 1, despite concerns from staff about a shallow water main line located underneath.

CAO Shannon Geraghty added the item to the agenda at the Tues., Sept. 5 meeting to discuss updates on County Road 1 – a project that has been partnered with the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry.

The cost to resurface the extra 230 metres would amount to $34,000 – funds that are not in this year’s budget.

According to Geraghty, staff also looked into relining the water main, which would “have to happen after the road is done, unfortunately.”

There have been five water main breaks underneath the road in the past eight months, with the most recent break occurring at the end of August.

Fixing the entire line from the water tower all the way to the Carman House would cost around $1 million – a hefty price tag for an unexpected project. If the water main is relined just near the roundabout, the cost would be between $125,000 and $175,000.

However, if the resurfacing goes ahead as planned, the municipality would potentially have to dig down at each valve in order to rectify the problem.

“One thing we noted when we were doing our work, is that water main is buried two to three feet underground – it’s so inside the frost zone it’s ridiculous,” said counties planning and transportation director Ben de Haan. “I’m shocked it hasn’t been a bigger problem for the municipality. We were digging at telecommunications depth, and the shovel hit the water main – it’s really shallow.”

Council members were at a loss for words as to how to balance the current project with the potential water main issue, which would be a project too late to go ahead this year, according to Geraghty.

“I think it’s more important that we take care of that main. There’s no sense in us paving past the cemetery if we have to dig that road up this winter because a water main pops,” said Councillor Archie Mellan. “To me, I would much rather see money put into that water main. This is some serious business. We’re at the point where we’re going to pave, and we have a main that’s only down two to three feet.”

Councillor Bill Ewing suggested that the paved part of the road wouldn’t have to be touched when they were doing water main work, to which Councillor Marc St. Pierre quipped, “Good luck.”

St. Pierre suggested the extra 230 metres shouldn’t be paved this year because it’s not in the budget.

“The water main is a different story. Although I agree you can bore, you’re not going to bore that long of a distance without having exit pits and entrance pits – you will be disturbing the road somewhat,” he said. “I don’t know what to say about that water main, other than it’s major infrastructure for us.”

Staff will be coming forward with an official motion at the next council meeting.