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
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.