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Section of Simcoe getting a complete overhaul

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

One of Oshawa’s main arteries is about to get some much needed treatment – but as a result, it could cause a bit of a disturbance.

Starting April 10, a detour will be put in place on Simcoe Street North starting at Rossland Road and stretching to Robert Street as the entire section undergoes a complete reconstruction.

In all, the asphalt and base, the sidewalks, the curbs, watermain, sanitary and storm sewers are all being ripped out and replaced along the approximately 800-metre stretch. The age of the infrastructure is hard to determine as the section of road is a patchwork, having been originally two lanes and then expanded to four. However, one thing is certain: the work has been needed for a some time.

“All this infrastructure is well past its design service life, so it’s been budgeted for a while,” says Dan Waechter, manager of construction management with the Region of Durham.

The region is taking the lead on the project as Simcoe is a regional road.

Contractor Eagleson Construction started mobilizing and doing initial work on April 3, with the detour set to be put in place on April 10. Residents are urged to take alternative routes during the project, with the detour sending drivers to Ritson via Taunton Road or Rossland.

Weather permitting, work is expected to last throughout the summer, wrapping up by mid-October. However, Waechter says he hopes Eagleston may improve on that timeline.

“We hope that they can improve on that schedule, but contractually they have to meet those dates,” he says. “If the weather is cooperative and they have good production, then we hope they’ll beat that schedule.”

Save for any exemptions that may be issued if required, the contractor must abide by the noise bylaw throughout the process, meaning work is kept between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Residents living along the effected stretch of Simcoe will be hit harder than others, Waechter admits, but access will be maintained consistently and signs will be erected to advertise that businesses along the stretch remain open.

Durham Region Transit and GO Transit buses will also be rerouted during the process to Mary Street via Robert and Hillcroft Streets.

Waechter admits the closure can be troublesome, but with the extent of the work, it’s the safest option, and can also allow work to be expedited with fewer interruptions from traffic.

“With a full road closure, sometimes I know it’s an aggravation, it’s an inconvenience, but at other times when you try and maintain traffic with this extensive work going on, it can create a lot of safety issues and other related problems,” he says.

Inspections have also been carried out inside homes along the effected stretch, many of which are older homes, to make sure residents are protected in the case of damage to their basements or foundations during the project.

“We’ve gone the extra mile here to ensure there’s pre-construction inspection, basically so everybody gets an idea of what the preexisting condition of basements and structures are so that in the event that there is any problem during construction that we can effectively deal with it,” Waechter says.

For more information on the project and detours, visit www.durham.ca. After hours, construction emergency calls can be directed to 1-800-372-1104.