By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
After more than six months, Simcoe Street is now fully open, leaving many motorists in Oshawa breathing a sigh of relief.
Beginning in April, drivers have had to take detours as the region completed a major road rehabilitation project that closed the thoroughfare from Rossland Road to Robert Street just north of downtown.
Dan Waechter, construction manager for the project, says while “all the figures aren’t in yet,” the final cost should come in under the $5.2 million budgeted for the work portion.
The project was also finished within the targeted timeline of mid-October, Waechter added.
“We had a good contractor, Eagleson Construction, they worked efficiently and effectively. It was a good design on the project and well-coordinated,” he said.
While things proceeded smoothly for the most part, there were a few bumps in the road.
“Weather was a huge challenge with an incredible amount in the spring and summer,” Waechter says.
With this section of road being one the busiest in Oshawa, there were also a few traffic management difficulties.
“We had to maintain access to businesses and private residences, and the detours created high traffic volumes on side streets. There were some residents of Somerville, Mason and Mary streets that expressed concerns so we had to make some adjustments with barricades and signal timing, but we worked through them,” Waechter says.
In all, the asphalt and base, sidewalks, curbs, watermain, sanitary and storm sewers were all ripped out and replaced along the approximately 800 metre-stretch, and new traffic signals were installed at the intersection at Rossland Road.
Further restoration work on Simcoe Street on the section just north of Robert Street to Taunton Road is scheduled to begin in April 2018, however, Waechter says this will be a much smaller project.
“It will mostly be the replacement of the surface asphalt and some curbs and sidewalks. It’s about four weeks of work and will only require lane restrictions, no road closures.”
Mayor John Henry says he’s pleased the project is now complete, noting it was much needed.
“There is no real good time for a major infrastructure project, but it needed to be done,” Henry says. “I’m proud to say the region did a good job.”
While the detours caused annoyance for drivers, Henry says it would have taken much longer for the project to be completed without closing the stretch of road.
Speaking of the increased traffic on side streets such as Somerville and Mary, he says this will always be a challenge and sometimes people need to adjust to traffic situations.
“If people would just leave five minutes early instead of five minutes late, we wouldn’t have these problems,” Henry says.