FOR ST. JOHN, B.C – The city is set to construct concrete foundation runners at Woodlawn Cemetery to provide support for memorials being placed.

Council approved design amendments to Phase one of the Woodlawn Cemetery expansion project Monday to add the reinforced concrete. Construction is estimated to cost $155,100, which will be allocated from the 2021 capital budget.

Concrete runners are reinforced concrete placed at the head of the plot, according to a Public Works and Utilities report presented to council on March 8th. The city is aiming to install the runners between narrow rows of plots.

“This design amendment facilitates operational efficiencies for cemetery maintenance,” says CAO Milo MacDonald in the March 8th report.

Council inquired staff to research the amendments to add the concrete rows at a workshop with council on January 21st.

“There would be seven double row runners that accommodate two memorials back to back, consisting of 4′ in width. The 4′ minimum dimension is to accommodate the existing sizing of memorials. This would also change the orientation of the current arrangement of memorials in the cemetery to face east and west, rather than the current practice of only facing east,” says Kylah Bryde, Director of Public Works and Utilities, in the report.

The city did not specifically budget for the concrete runners, but $389,000 was put aside in the 2021 capital budget for work at the cemetery.

Phase one of the expansion, lead by the Cemetery Master Plan, was completed last year for $1.25 million. The expansion includes 311 full burial plots, 110 cremation burial plots, nine Muslim burial plots, 18 green burial plots, 192 Columbarium niches, and a central gathering space.

Staff is set to work with Urban Systems on a design and tender process with construction expected to occur this year.