So, it has been more than a few months, now, that we have lived with the reconstruction of Regional Road #20 from Rice Road to Station Street. By now, each of us have likely changed our driving patterns -- either by leaving a bit earlier to compensate for potential delays, or by taking alternative routes.
The crews from Norjohn have finished the first phase -- those lanes on the South side of the highway. Now, after transferring the traffic to the new road, the workers are well on their way with the portion on the North side of the street.
As the reconstruction continues, you can see some of the foundational elements of the new road.
There will be a new centre turning lane (where appropriate) and a couple of new "islands" to help calm traffic and delineate the turning sections. The contractor has already realigned the Hurricane Road intersection; this will take some getting used to for many.
The new sidewalk, to be installed on the North-side of the road, has already been marked out. Finally, underground work -- including upgrades to the watermain, and replacing the sanitary sewers -- is being incorporated as the above-ground work proceeds.
Although this section of Regional Road 20 reconstruction is shorter than previous the phases from the 406 to Rice Road, it is more complicated because of the more urban setting and the total rebuild of the intersection at Rice Road. It is also of a higher profile.
You will recall that the construction began in April and was scheduled to run for a maximum of 110 "working days." If we received reasonable weather and things went smoothly, it was thought that the work could be substantially complete by Labour Day; if they run into snags, the contract could run through late September/early October. It looks like it will be a little longer than Labour Day.
To help facilitate traffic, the contractor has maintained two lanes of traffic at all times. They have also done well in attempting to mitigate negative impacts on local businesses by doing their best to keep accesses open.
But, as the reconstruction continues, those businesses are likely being negatively affected by an aversion to driving through the area.
Now, those businesses in the construction zone deserve our support.
So, just as was suggested during the reconstruction of Downtown Fonthill, I encourage you to "reset you GPS" to Regional Road 20 and to support local businesses as we complete the reconstruction project.