Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Haist Street Substantially Complete

Like planned, the Canada Day Parade returned to the newly reconstructed Haist Street last week. It was wonderful to see the hundreds of families who gathered to celebrate Canada’s 144th Birthday on July 1st.

You will recall that, as one of Pelham’s most-used collector roads, the two kilometers of Haist Street from Canboro to Welland Road desperately required reconstruction.

The $5.7 million reconstruction included added-width for bicycles, sidewalks on both sides of the street, four raised crosswalks to calm the traffic, and a pedestrian-priority crossing signal in front of A.K. Wigg School. The replacement of the cast iron watermains has improved drinking water quality and system resiliency. The reconstruction eliminated the potential of road washouts and helps to protect the environment by replacing the wide ditches with an underground storm water system.

It is true that the work has taken nearly 20 months to complete. Council agreed to break the project into two phases so that we could take advantage of significant Federal and Provincial infrastructure stimulus funding that stipulated a certain “start date.”

That’s why the first phase began in November 2009 and included the sanitary sewer relocation near Welland Road. The high water table delayed completion until March 2010; the contractor needed to “de-water” the area before crews could replace the large sewers. I sympathize deeply with the residents who live directly in that area; their lives have been impacted by noise, dust, and considerable inconvenience for a long time.

The second phase began in April, 2010. You will recall that the contractor paved the base layer of asphalt in the section North of Pancake Lane (to Canboro Road) in late November 2010. Work on the section South of Pancake Lane (to Welland Road) was much more complicated, again, because of the high water table and the required “dewatering.” The contractor just paved the Southern half in June.

The remaining work includes completing the sodding, paving the top-coat of asphalt, cutting the road and installing the four raised cross-walks, assessing and fixing deficiencies, and planting trees.

I do also want you to know that Kelly Walsh, Director of Community & Infrastructure Services, assured Council at our June 27 meeting that the project was “tracking to tender” – i.e.: well-within the tendered amount agreed upon by Council.

Finally, with the project “substantially complete,” I acknowledge and deeply thank all area residents – most especially those living on Haist Street – for your patience, your flexibility, and your understanding.