Summer is half over but construction season rages on. Luckily for township residents, it’s nothing like the turmoil fuelled by the LRT project in Waterloo and Kitchener.
Some projects are wrapping up, others are winding down until next year. In St. Jacobs, King Street has been ripped up in different spots since the end of April, and while certain aspects of the project are nearing completion, project manager Ian Young says crews will be working until the fall.
The Region of Waterloo project is on schedule, he notes.
“We are currently in our second stage of five. We completed most of the downtown work a while ago, though there are still some small cleanup items to do in the downtown part,” he said, adding that now, construction crews are working a bit farther south on King Street., between Printery Road and Henry Street.”It is a full reconstruction. About half of the houses down there are on wells, so we are putting in new water services and new sanitary service connections for those houses. That is what is in progress right now.”
After the underground work is done, new sidewalks and bike lanes will be added, while also lowering the current road a little bit. Young says this portion is scheduled for completion by the end of September, when phase three will begin.
“Our next stage, which is our last one for next year, is the area south of what we are doing now. From Printery Road just down to the tracks. It is fairly short section, but the reason it is its own separate stage is that while we are doing that, there is the longer detour,” he said. “People won’t be able to get into town going north on King Street there. They will have to go down Lobsinger Line, up Three Bridges and down Henry – the long way around.”
Crews will be back at it in the spring, when the construction moves north, from the bridge across the Conestogo River up to Sawmill Road, and the chunk of King Street between Hachborn and Henry streets.
The project has hit a few snags along the way, but nothing that compromised the timeline.
“In some sections, there were some old water valves that had deteriorated more than expected. When we replace the water valves, we have to shut the water off at the main valves. When we went to shut those off, they didn’t work, so they had to be replaced as well. We had more water shutoff than expected downtown,” said Young. “We also found a little bit of contaminated soil. It was contaminated from hydrocarbons, which usually come from old gasoline. We had to dispose of that in a special facility, so there was small cost increase, but it hasn’t affected the budget too much.”
Elsewhere for the past few months, drivers and bikers in Wellesley have had to take a long detour around Crosshill, where another major Region of Waterloo construction project was underway. Now, cars and bicycles can go on through.
Peter Linn, that project’s manager, said it actually finished ahead of schedule.
“The project went well. The contractor was actually done early.”
There are still a couple of things crews need to get finished due to unforeseen circumstances, and now, it is just a waiting game.
“There is still some outstanding work that we need to complete in the fall with respect to the sidewalk on the north side of William Hastings Line,” said Linn. “We weren’t able to complete it because of a conflict with an underground Bell Canada fibre optic cable that is in the way of the curb.”
Linn predicts that the sidewalk will be finished in two to three months, and crews will be back next year when all the snow melts to put the final layer of asphalt on the roadway.
Also around the townships, bridge improvements are ongoing. The Conestogo River Bridge on Line 86, bordering on Wellington County, has some bike lanes being added, along with bridge infrastructure improvements. It is expected to wrap up in October.
In Woolwich, the bridge on Hawkesville Road is getting some new concrete and more. It is expected to be open to two-lane traffic again in October.
Soon to be wrapping up is the resurfacing of Shantz Station Road between Kossuth Road and Menno Street. The project, which began on July 12, involves a full resurfacing and lane closures. It is expected to last three to four weeks.