Erie St. still on track for dead­line

The Beacon Herald - - LOCAL NEWS - jjuha@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/JuhaJonathan JONATHAN JUHA STAFF RE­PORTER

Cox Con­struc­tions Ltd., the com­pany cho­sen by the city to com­plete the Erie Street widen­ing and resur­fac­ing con­tract, has com­mit­ted more re­sources to the project in an at­tempt to meet its pro­jected Christ­mas dead­line.

Though the $2.3-mil­lion project had been mov­ing along as ex­pected, rain ex­pe­ri­enced over the past few weeks had slowed con­struc­tion pace, said Ed Du­jlovic, di­rec­tor of in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment ser­vices.

“The rain cer­tainly slowed them down,” he said. “They wanted to switch over to the east side of the road, but the prob­lem was that they needed to get the lines painted on the road and the line pain­ter couldn’t get in while the roads were wet.

“So it had to dry up be­fore they could put the proper lines down so, when peo­ple were there driv­ing, they had some guid­ance as to where the lanes were.”

Fri­day morn­ing ’s snow­storm, the first of the sea­son, and the cold tem­per­a­tures did not af­fect the day’s work, but crews will have to wait for tem­per­a­tures to rise again next week be­fore they can start putting the top coat of as­phalt on the road.

“For the top coat, you want to see tem­per­a­tures at around 6 C or 7 C … oth­er­wise, the as­phalt will cool down too quickly and it won’t com­pact prop­erly,” Du­jlovic ex­plained.

Traf­fic con­ges­tion in the area, one of the main ac­cess points to the city, has also been a chal­lenge dur­ing the project, Duljovic said, not­ing the city had to add ex­tra re­sources by as­sign­ing off-duty po­lice of­fi­cers to con­trol traf­fic in the area dur­ing cer­tain phases of the con­struc­tion.

In that re­gards, he en­cour­aged peo­ple to avoid the area and look for al­ter­na­tive routes, when pos­si­ble, or to be pa­tient when driv­ing through the site.

“If you are not vis­it­ing busi­nesses in the area, maybe you can look at other op­tions to go around it,” he said. “I know it may add some time to your travel but there are other op­por­tu­ni­ties to avoid the con­struc­tion.

“We ask for the pub­lic’s pa­tience on this, and if you are go­ing to drive in that area, be pre­pared that there might be de­lays and you are prob­a­bly not go­ing to get through there as quickly as you would like.

“Please be pa­tient and go slow,” he con­tin­ued. “There are peo­ple work­ing there, so you need to be on the watch.

“Things such as ac­cess points to busi­nesses change daily, even hourly, as con­struc­tion is tak­ing place . . . but that is part of the con­struc­tion process.”

JONATHAN JUHA/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

Traf­fic moves through Erie Street Fri­day as con­struc­tion crews be­gin ex­ca­va­tion of the road's east side.

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