General approval with initial Kagawong Main Street Hill plans

Mark Langille, an engineer and Sudbury infrastructure manager with Exp, shows a local resident plans for the Kagawong Main Street reconstruction engineering design at an in-person public consultation session held on August 11.

KAGAWONG – In an effort to address several issues related to the Main Street Hill down into the village of Kagawong, an in-person public information session for the Main Street reconstruction engineering design (2020-2021) was presented by Exp Engineering and township officials to members of the public last week. Area politicians and residents seem satisfied with what the plans propose. 

“I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen so far,” said Billings Mayor Ian Anderson. “This is the first draft being provided by Exp and we had an excellent turnout, with lots of input from the residents and businesses most affected. The majority are very pleased with what is being proposed. And as Exp mentioned, nothing is set in stone and they want input on making this a safer, better street.” 

Mayor Anderson said “there will be one more open house held to incorporate ideas and suggestions for the final plan. In talking to council we think they are going in the right direction.

David Yurich, who owns a house on Main Street said in reference to the draft plan, “I thought it was good. The devil is in the details, there is a big difference between what engineers say and contractors (when it comes to the work carried out). But Exp is agreeable to talk about concerns. At the end of the day the road is crumbling, there have been water problems with the road and hill that need to be looked at.”
 “Overall my first impression is I’m happy with what they are proposing,” said Mr. Yurich. 

“Exp has started the engineering design for the reconstruction project,” said Todd Gordon, economic development officer for Billings, at the open house last week. “They had provided township staff a preliminary draft design, and staff made comments and what we are seeing today is the second round of this process. They are providing council, residents and businesses the opportunity to provide input.”

Mr. Gordon noted, “we are especially concerned about the residents and businesses on the street that are directly affected. Every engineering project is a compromise.”

The issues to be addressed in the project are drainage, traffic safety, safe pedestrian access between upper and lower Kagawong, and ease of maintenance, particularly winter control.

“Based on the preliminary design (at the public consultation held August 11), there was good representation from residents and businesses on Main Street and the engineering design was well received, in general,” said Mr. Gordon, “and there was some constructive criticism received.”

Mr. Gordon and Mark Langille, Exp engineer and Sudbury infrastructure manager told the Recorder that one of the biggest changes being proposed with the reconstruction relates to the drainage. The project proposal calls for work to be carried out from the intersection with Highway 540 northerly, down the hill, through the village and terminating just past the Aus Hunt Marina; and includes a storm sewer system with outlets in two places to drain away water for safety and longevity; about halfway down the hill into a wooded area and past the Aus Hunt Marina (by the Anglican Church) with an oil grit separator in place to clean the water before it goes into the lake and a sidewalk system allowing safe pedestrian access between upper and lower Kagawong.  

“Also on the east side of the road, where there is a parking area by the Kuku Hut, the proposal is to keep, but to also add on additional spaces,” the Recorder was told. 

The project area encompasses a total of approximately 985 metres. 

The engineering design is to be completed by mid-fall of 2020, and the township will tender the work out late this year or early 2021.
Construction will take place in the summer of 2021 and Exp will manage the construction. The expected cost of the project is estimated to be more than $2.5 million.