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Waterfront work halted until spring


With only mostly superficial work to be done now, the town has authorized the shutdown of work on Phase II of the La Verendrye Parkway project—with the provision that all work there be completed by June 15, 2003.

“The activity there has pretty much stopped for now,” Pat Hickerson, the town’s manager of Facilities and Operations, said Monday morning.

“I wouldn’t expect to see a whole lot more happen until mid-May,” he noted. “They have to be sure the ground is thawed. And the May long weekend is often the time contractors start working with sod and asphalt again.

“I don’t see a problem with getting everything done by June 15,” Hickerson added. “The behind-the-scenes work is done.

“And the deadline gives us a couple weeks to tidy up before the July 1 grand-opening ceremony.”

The work next spring will include the installation of light standards, top soil and sodding operations, the excavation and paving of the bike path, installing the stone walkway, completing the paving on Front Street, adding decking to boat ramps, and the final placement of furnishings.

The work completed so far has included the in-water work (the sloping, the fish habitat, pilings for the Sorting Gap Marina, and drainage improvements), the curbing along Front Street and the island at the Sorting Gap parking area, and the planting of trees.

Hickerson said the delay is unlikely to increase the cost of the project, but won’t know for sure until he receives a report from Engineering Northwest Ltd. of Thunder Bay later this week.

The work on the roughly $2.4-million project is being done by local contractor George Armstrong Co. Ltd.

The town began the initial stages of a long-term program to reclaim and redevelop the waterfront from Pither’s Point to Victoria Avenue in 1986.

Between 1989-95, Phase I was initiated, resulting in the Sorting Gap Marina and the sidewalks and seating areas now seen along the waterfront.

In 1996, the town initiated Phase II to extend the renovations in a one-km span to Victoria Avenue. Public meetings were held and stakeholders were consulted for input into the plan.

Last year, the town hired Engineering Northwest Ltd. to prepare detailed construction drawings based on the final report of the waterfront development plan devised in 1998 by consultants Hilderman, Thomas, Frank and Cram, and the fish habitat migration and compensation plan as prepared by Acres and Associated.

The plans were approved in June, but were scaled down slightly to stay close to the project budget in late July.

Chopped were the La Verendrye landing at the end of Victoria Avenue, as well as more docks at the Sorting Gap Marina and at the end of Butler and Crowe Avenues.

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