Contractor likely to start Petrolia Line work at end of July

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The work on Petrolia Line likely won’t begin until late July.

That from Stuart Winchester of CIMA+, the engineering firm spearheading the $4.5 million, two-year project.

Winchester spoke to about two dozen downtown merchants June 10 about the timeline for the construction saying the contract says work must start by July 6 and end by November 13. “Birnam may start at the end of July so the actual construction duration will be shorter,” he says.

Winchester tells The Independent the first work will be from the bridge at Bear Creek to Tank Street so it may even be mid to late August before the merchants see construction in front of their stores.

And he assured business owners all of the work will be complete by Nov. 13, including the paving. In 2013, Birnam had to leave Princess Street in gravel over the winter because of an early frost.

CAO Manny Baron says the town and Lambton County – which will pay for part of the reconstruction because it is a county road – are adamant that the road be paved before the snow flies.

“There are financial penalties if they don’t,” says Winchester. The contractor would pay $1,000 a day if the job isn’t complete on time. “That’s going to be very hard for a company to bear,” he says.

Winchester says the timeline sounds aggressive but there is “some slack built into the schedule” so he’s confident the work will be done.

Merchants also heard:

  • – Birnam will collect garbage and recyclables at the door on regular collection days and will return containers at the end of the day
  • – Sidewalk access will be maintained accept for one day during the construction when the water will be reconnected to the business
  • – Emergency access will always be maintained however emergency services will be notified of the construction and possible alternative routes
  • – Tile Yard Road, which Enniskillen Township is now rebuilding, will reopen before the Petrolia Line construction begins allowing another point of access
  • – Special provisions can be made for deliveries when necessary by contact the project administrator

Mayor John McCharles added once construction begins, he wants to hear if merchants are having problems. “We think things are actually looking really, really good,” he says. “But if you have complaints, don’t hold them back and don’t complain to your neighbour; we want to know.”

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