Sunday, January 8, 2017

2017 Road, Bridges, Sidewalk Improvements

During our last meeting in December, Council approved the Town’s 2017 Capital Budget. The nearly $11 million budget includes many continued improvements to Town infrastructure.

Summersides Boulevard: Council re-approved the construction of a new street linking Downtown Fonthill (by extending Pelham Town Square) with Wellspring Way and Rice Road. The street will include a centre boulevard, trees, and wide multipurpose sidewalks/trails on both sides. Council will name it after Jim Summersides, a World War II veteran of the elite, joint Canadian-American "First Special Service Force," a dedicated member of the Royal Canadian Legion (Fonthill Branch 613), and a volunteer public speaker to school children about the travesties of war.
While much of the Eastern section was constructed as a base road last year, we have to complete the planning approvals to finalize the last, Western leg (closest to Station Street).
Council is committed to constructing this road to help better link Downtown Fonthill to other, newer developments. The road will also help open up opportunities for further residential and mixed-use development.

Station Street: As the Town continues to grow, Station Street between Regional Road 20 and Port Robinson is becoming a more important transportation link. At the same time, improving the storm sewers on Station (which are currently open ditches) will help with storm water issues in areas above Station Street. Finally, the aged watermain needs upgrading; each year we continue to remove and upgrade the old, cast iron pipes that are susceptible to leaks and cracks. Because of these challenges, the Town applied for funding from the Provincial Government to improve Station Street; we look forward to hearing funding news in early-2017.

Haist Street: While we have reconstructed most of Haist Street over the years, we are now to concentrate on the Southern section. Council approved funds to start reconstructing Haist from Welland Road to Beckett and include a bit of Welland Road (from Haist to Edward). While the road condition does need improving, the real impetuous for the works is to replace the old, cast-iron watermain.

Roland Road: The Town finally improved a deteriorated section of Roland Road (east of Sulphur Springs) last year. Now we included funds to rehabilitate Roland from the parking entrance for Shorthills Provincial Park eastward.

Maple Street: Another year, another "bridge." This one – on Maple Street just South of Sixteen Road – will be replaced with dual culverts in 2017.

Sidewalks & Road Base Repairs: The Town made several and much-needed repairs to existing sidewalks and road sections last year. Council approved increased funds – more than $275,000 – in 2017 to address and repair additional areas.

I will write more about our other planned capital improvements for 2017 next column.