Work on the future Rainy Lake Square is getting underway with RML Contracting of Thunder Bay now on site.
Fencing has been put up and equipment is being mobilized, as the contractor gets to work on the $2.1 million project, which includes not only the construction of a market square complete with landscaping and stage area but new sidewalks for the
200 block of Scott Street and at the Civic Centre.
Mobilization will continue through to early next week after which time actual construction will begin, Operations and
Facilities manager Travis Rob informed the dozen or so people gathered at a public open house
The square project is scheduled for completion on Aug. 11.
Meanwhile, the work on the Civic Centre sidewalk is slated to take place from June 19 to July 4, while the sidewalk work
on the 200 block of Scott Street will take place from July 24 to Sept. 9.
Work is expected to take place from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Each day (possibly 8 p.m. on days when the contractor is pouring
Road closures will be kept to a minimum, but will be required for work such as connecting the storm sewer and “bumping” the curb out in front of the Rainy Lake Square—widening the sidewalk right in front of the square to create an entrance area while at the same time eliminating several parking spaces.
Business access will be maintained at all times. The alley behind the site will be closed to through-traffic through the duration.
Parking behind the site will be restricted as of next Tuesday.
Looking ahead, the Rainy Lake Square will include such amenities as a stage, seating decks, tables and chairs to sit at, lighting, canopies providing some shade form the sun, and plenty of trees.
The town is currently looking into providing Wi-Fi.
Some aspects that have been removed from the plans to reduce costs.
Items removed include interpretive signage (which can easily be added in future), one waste bin, two light standards, one set of chairs on each side, a tree, and several bollard lights.
Some items have been substituted, such as custom cast iron drainage grates which now will be a less ornate, but still clean and modern looking, black metal.
One item—a drinking fountain and water bottle fill station—was removed, but may be put back in the plan. There is an ongoing discussion with a local individual
who may be interested in buying one for the square.
Meanwhile, the new sidewalks and the Rainy Lake
Square ground surface will be composed of nearly 2,400 sq. metres of paving stones.
Unlike the current interlocking bricks on the 200 block,
the new stones will have a completely different look which will aesthetically tie the sidewalks to the Rainy Lake Square.
The sidewalk work will be done in four sections, one section at a time.
The sidewalk work on Scott
Street will include the removal of the trees along the 200 block.
While not all merchants are in agreement with this decision, the tree roots have caused sewer and foundation problems which
will only get worse in the future if the trees aren’t removed.