King Street in St. Jacobs, largely impassable for the past two years, may be reopened by month’s end.
The bulk of the work should be completed by then, though the Region of Waterloo now plans to do the final layer of asphalt later this year rather than waiting until next spring.
“Originally we had planned surface asphalt work next year so that just meant coming back and doing the top two inches of asphalt through town – I think we are going to move that up and do that this year so everything should be fully completed,” explained project manager Ian Young.
Despite delays in the spring, the work is back on track for the fast-approaching deadline, he added.
“It has gone well. We had quite a bit of rain earlier in the year and that slowed us down, especially at the north end of town,” Young said, noting that the contractor has done a great job at making up work days in the south end to bring the construction back on schedule.
Done in stages over the past two years, construction has been ongoing in St. Jacobs between Hachborn and Henry streets, as well as King Street from the bridge north to Sawmill Road.
The work is a full reconstruction, including underground services, new sidewalks and asphalt. The design not only updates the infrastructure, but makes the village more pedestrian friendly, said Young.
“The existing roadway was deteriorating. And we wanted to provide cycling and pedestrian facilities throughout town, as well as a good solution for the buggies. By providing a sidewalk on both sides of the road through town, we have really improved pedestrian access to St. Jacobs, and same thing for cycling lanes.”
Structurally, the construction between Hatchborn and Henry streets involved a replacement of watermains, sanitary sewers and new layers of asphalt. Visitors will also notice a widening of the road to include combination lanes throughout the town for bike and buggies, as well as the replacing and widening of sidewalks.
At the north end, the work on King Street includes a sidewalk on the east side, as well as the replacement of the asphalt, gravel and some storm sewers.
Completion of the work – or at least the reopening of King Street – will come as a welcome relief to drivers forced to use a circuitous system of detours for the past two years. Drivers may be able to go straight on through later by the end of August.
“It is possible the road will open before that. I know it looks like we are close to being done, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done on people’s driveways, landscaping and things like that. But we are scheduled to be finished in August, yes,” Young said.
In addition to the replacement of the underground infrastructure, 15 properties previously on private wells and septic systems received new sewer and water laterals for municipal services.
At a cost of around $5 million, the region will have reconstructed the entirety of King Street from Printery Road to Sawmill Road by year’s end.