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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Oh What A Relief It Is

by Doug Harvey
Oh What A Relief It Is

I don't think I'm alone when I say "It's a relief that the sewer construction crossing Bridge Street seems to be almost over with the hole filled in and the detour signs taken down on Carlow". Using that detour was an experience I hope only to reminisce about. I live on the East side of this intersection and only visit the West side to visit friends, take a walk around Hofhuis Park, or take a drive by of the beach. I can only imagine the relief that West side residents and businesses have after witnessing firsthand the effects of a bottleneck in traffic flow in and out of the area.

The Sewer Construction Upgrades Project when presented to Council seemed like a minor inconvenience on paper for residents, but along the way during construction turned into a nightmare, forcing Central Elgin staff to scramble for solutions to address ground pollution discovered during excavation leftover from unknown sources. A detour sign tells a story of how this project was supposed to go, "CARLOW ST TO BE CLOSED APRIL 3, 2017" , and here it is mid October with some actions indicating that the worse could be over.

Relief for most on the Westside could be in sight, but the two oldest Port Stanley operations that suffered the most during the sewer upgrades still have some major obstacles to overcome. The Port Stanley Terminal Rail had some of the parking that it uses disappear which it needs to accommodate the tourists that come to Port to ride that historic train. The other operation which is right in the center of it all, is the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 410, a Port Stanley centerpiece of community activity that spans all seasons. To say that the loss of parking, or just the loss of access to the Legion was just an inconvenience would be an understatement. Having the noise, that orange fencing and construction materials along the grass perimeter, and even that standing steel fencing on Carlow Road where construction machinery goes in and out of the excavations tells a different story.

To say that all this didn't affect the bottom-line would be an insult, so I ask Central Elgin next time that a project is planned that those extra costs or revenue losses to businesses and residents be calculated and made public so all will see the real cost of progress.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2017 11:46:13 AM EST

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