Waterfront and Main Street Hill projects to be carried out in 2019

KAGAWONG—Billings Township council has given its approval to a company to undertake the waterfront development plan and work to be done on the Main Street Hill into the village.

“Council looked at the tenders for the waterfront development project, with one tender having been received,” said Kathy McDonald, Billings township clerk, after a special council meeting last Friday. “EXP Engineering was the lone tender we received, for $190,005. They also have the engineering contract Main Street Hill tender from a previous council meeting.”

Ms. McDonald noted the township had previously hired Down to Earth for the geotechnical work of the waterfront and Main Street Hill, at a cost of $96,160 plus HST.

“Down to Earth will be carrying out the geotechnical investigation for the hill and the waterfront. All the designs will be in place by the end of the year and early in the new year a tender will go out for construction of both,” said Ms. McDonald. She pointed out the township has sent out letters to a all businesses and the community explaining what is taking place.

In the letter to business and community impact of major infrastructure projects slated for 2019 it is stated, “As I’m sure you are aware, the Township of Billings received funding for two major infrastructure projects in the Hamlet of Kagawong, and these are expected to enter the construction phase in spring of 2019. This letter is an attempt provide preliminary information on the projects and how we expect construction to impact the community and your business.

“One project is the Main Street Reconstruction. The entire project (design and construction) is expected to cost $1,030,000. The township has been approved for $977,836 from the Ontario Critical Infrastructure Funds (Capital and Capacity streams), with $52,164  allocated within the township’s own budget.

“The Main Street Reconstruction Project (MRP) will involve work on Main Street from the intersection with Highway 540, through the hamlet to the northerly intersection of Main and Upper Streets (past the lighthouse/Aus Hunt Marina). The purpose of this work is to address the significant deterioration of this key artery, address instability in the rock cut and inadequate drainage, as well as improve safety and pedestrian flow.

“This project has just entered the engineering design phase, with a construction tender ready design expected by December 31, 2019. The design contract has been tendered to EXP Services Inc.

“Project 2 is the Kagawong Waterfront Improvements. The entire (budget design and construction) is expected to cost $2,045,690, with the township approved for $1,818,276 from senior levels of government, and $227,414 allocated within the township’s own budget.

“This project will see expansion of the small craft basin, work on the Aus Hunt Marina main, with new slip infrastructure for both, as well as the installation of a sanitary system with force main and treatment facility to accommodate both the current and future waterfront developments. The construction phase of this project will also potentially affect lower Main Street, Old Mill Road and Henry Drive.

“The project has just entered the engineering design phase, with a construction tender-ready design expected by December 31, 2018. The design contract has been tendered to EXP Services Inc.”

The letter continues, “note that there will be geotechnical investigation work conducted for both projects this autumn (starting in late August or early September). This work is  not expected to have any major community or business/economic impacts. Both projects also include an objective to improve parking on the Main Street corridor, and in the downtown generally.”

“The construction of these projects is obviously going to affect vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the hamlet. However, the scope of the work is not as extensive as that conducted in 2005, when the work involved blasting and removal of substantial material from the steepest portion of Main Street Hill, and required a long-term complete closure of that portion of Main Street.

“Everyone involved in the administration of these projects—council, municipal staff (including our engineering support person, Dejan Kovacev, of Seven Rock Technology), and the design engineers—understands the importance of communication in achieving the objectives of these projects. By definition, communication is bi-directional. It was pointed out there is a community consultation component inherent to the design process for both projects, with the engineering design firm seeking public input for both designs-likely in early October-at the preliminary design phase.”