By Steve Hubrecht
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Invermere council has awarded a contract for some desperately needed sewer repair work.

The work will include phase one (the most immediately pressing parts) of sanitary sewer and water systems upgrades, road realignment, paving and separated multi-use path improvements on 13th Avenue.

The area has been a trouble spot for years, and the district has been planning the upgrades for some time and had at one point been hoping to do all the work in one shot. But the need on some particular parts of 13th Avenue has become much more urgent recently, however, prompting the district to ‘chunk up’ the work, and deal with the hot spots now and then the rest later.

As Invermere councillor Greg Anderson explained, the sewer is literally backing up.

“The severity of the issue has seen it rise to the top (of the priority list),” added Invermere mayor Al Miller.

The contract for phase one was awarded to MarWest Industries Inc. for nearly $1.9 million.

Plans to do all the work at once were complicated by COVID-19 pandemic-induced supply chain issues that have resulted in “a very serious shortage of pipe” in B.C., which has significantly driven up pipe prices, explained Miller.