Construction in downtown Petrolia slated for June

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Construction workers last November in Petrolia's downtown. The second phase of the project will start in June.Construction workers last November in Petrolia's downtown. The second phase of the project will start in June.

Work on Petrolia Line is likely to start in June.

That word from Stuart Winchester, the engineer working on the second phase of the reconstruction.

Winchester’s firm, CIMA+ and the Town of Petrolia unveiled some of the plans for the work Monday in a meeting with business owners along the downtown corridor.

Winchester says this year Henry Heyink Construction will begin the work around Fletcher Street and rebuild Petrolia Line to Kerby Street – originally the plan was to rebuild the road to Eureka Street.

The work will be done in two phases with crews beginning at Fletcher Street, next to the Petrolia Library, and working to King Street in the first phase. “The road will be restored with the base coat of asphalt before the next construction continues,” he told about 50 people at the public meeting.

One of the big changes this year will be a new, temporary water system will be installed to avoid any unexpected water shutdowns. “Those of you who lived through it last year remember there were many problems with the existing water main,” says Winchester. “You would come close to it and it would break.”

The contractor will install a smaller  diameter line along Petrolia Line to avoid those problems this time around.

Winchester added right now, the plan is to close the entire stretch, including the intersection at Petrolia Line, Centre and Albany Street during construction but he added there may be some leeway to put up fencing and allow traffic to pass through on gravel.

Barring any construction problems or bad weather, Winchester says the contract calls for the construction to be complete by the end of October.

Henry Heyink Construction was one of three contractors which submitted a bid for the project. It will complete the work for $3,076,987.50 – about $150,000 less than the nearest bidder and over $300,000 less than the third contractor.

Last year’s contractor, Birnam Construction, didn’t submit a bid.

The original plan called for Petrolia Line to be rebuilt to Eureka Street but in March council approved a plan to extend the project to Kerby Street. The extra stretch will cost about $518,000 with about $303,000 coming from the town, and its water and sewer

reserves.

Mayor John McCharles says staff conducted an email vote with council after the tender was opened April 7 to move the project forward. Each councillor was given an explanation of the tenders and the recommendation of the engineer and voted on the project via email.

McCharles says several councillors could not be available for a formal meeting so the unusual step was taken. “It’s quite legal to do,” he says adding it “fast forwarded” the project saying the town was in “a push to get things rolling” since it didn’t want construction rolling into November like last year.

Council decision was confirmed at council Monday.

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