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Work continues with watermain improvements on Gordon, Wilson


by Sylene Argent

For the past few weeks, contractors have been working to replace watermains along Gordon Avenue and Wilson Avenue in Essex Centre. The improvement project will likely go on over an eight-week period.

  As set out in the 2020 budget, the Gordon/Wilson/Station Street project was budget for asphalt milling and resurfacing, and is to be completed jointly with the watermain replacement. This will be at a cost of $150,000 for the resurfacing and $850,000 for the watermain replacements.

  Richard Beausoleil, Manager, Capital Works and Infrastructure, said the first phase of the project is the Wilson Avenue watermain. From there, the Gordon Avenue watermain will be completed. When the watermains are replaced, any needed minor concrete repairs, such as on sidewalks or curbs, will be completed. Then, a milling machine will be brought in to grind up two-inches of the existing asphalt, and two inches of new asphalt will be laid in the Wilson Avenue, Gordon Avenue, Fox Street, Station Street, and Scratch Street corridor. New fire hydrants will also be added.

  Beausoleil said the main reason this project went forward this year was because of the age of the existing watermains, which date back to 1968 and 1969. The watermains will be improved in size as well. He said the current 4-inch pipes will be upgraded to 6-inches, which will allow for a better flow of water and better fire protection. He suspects this construction project could go for another month to six weeks.

  The Gordon Avenue, Wilson Avenue, and Station Street project was added to the budget last year, but did not go ahead as planned. Beausoleil said this was due to legal issues with tendering.

  In addition, is the current watermain, storm sewer, resurfacing, and sidewalk project is being done on Queen Street in Harrow. The Essex Centre and Harrow Centre projects come in for a combined total of just over $2M. As the Queen Street works began earlier than the Essex Centre project, he hopes the Harrow-based project will be done within the next couple of weeks.

  Starting the Harrow project first was a strategic move, due to COVID-19, Beausoleil said. All the works are outside the travel portion of the road. If the Town got orders from the Province that construction had to stop because of the virus, that job could have been stopped fairly easily. The Essex Centre portion was put into the second phase because it is taking place in the road allowance.

  “If the Province stopped us, we would have caused disruption and congestion that we did not want to have,” he said of the Essex Centre road project.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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