What would summer be without roadwork to cause traffic delays and detours? Elmira motorists won’t have the luxury of discovering that pleasure, as a major reconstruction job will close a key intersection for more than a month.
Woolwich plans a complete overhaul of Snyder Avenue South, a project that includes reworking the intersection at Church Street West. That portion of the job is expected to force a rerouting of traffic for 24 working days, starting on June 21.
Overall, construction related to Snyder Avenue is scheduled to run from May 12 to Oct. 22.
The work involves the replacement of water, wastewater and storm sewers, along with the roadbed and surface on the stretch near the Woolwich Memorial Centre. New concrete curb and gutters, and expanded sidewalks on both sides of the street are also planned.
Meeting this week, Woolwich council awarded contracts for the project worth $3.2 million. That includes $2.95 million to J.G. Goetz Construction Ltd. to carry out the work, and another $272,000 in consulting and engineering fees.
Even with the federal and provincial governments each kicking in a third of the original budget amount – $1,733,334 apiece – costs are some $300,000 more than anticipated. The entire amount of the shortfall will be covered by the township, which will draw on its water and sewer reserves, as well as its development charges fund.
The Goetz bid was the lowest of three received; 10 contractors picked up tender packages.
Director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley said the project will be completed in three stages over the next five months. The first stretch covers the section of Snyder Avenue from First Street to just past Brubacher Street; the second involves the reworking of the intersection at Snyder Avenue and Church Street; and the final stage would be the middle portion, running from Brubacher Street to Church Street.
Most disruptive will be the intersection work, he noted.
The township plans a truck detour route to the south, following Floradale Road to Listowel Road to Arthur Street. For local traffic, Barnswallow and Whippoorwill drives will be the detour route.
Recognizing the possibility of delays, the contractor will work to minimize inconveniences, he said, noting the township has promised the MCC Thrift Store that one of its entrances would be accessible at all times, for instance.
Although originally linked to a small contract to repave nearby Maple Street, the Snyder Avenue project will not be delayed after councillors balked at reworking the road adjacent to the new township hall.
Director of finance Richard Petherick said the project could easily be altered to reflect council’s wish to defer a decision on the Maple Street work.
That $187,000 project involves the resurfacing of the roadway, the installation of a sidewalk on the west side of the street, concrete curbs and gutters and the reconfiguration of parking spaces – to 45-degree angle parking from parallel – along the west side of the Home Hardware store.
As he did in February when council discussed the project’s impact on Home Hardware, Coun. Mark Bauman questioned the need to repave Maple Street, adding he would be fine with the installation of sidewalks and even the curbs and gutters providing it made financial sense.
“I can’t understand for the life of me why we’re repaving it,” he said, noting there are far worse stretches of road in the township. “I don’t buy it. It’s just ridiculous to pave that street.”
The perception is that the road is only being repaved because it’s beside the new administration building, he said of the bad optics.
Councillors deferred a decision on project pending a new study of the budget numbers.