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Complaints from businesses push Flesherton road work to August

'The Aug. 8 start is a compromise we can live with,' says downtown business owner

Construction work on a major road upgrade project in downtown Flesherton will not begin until Aug. 8.

The Municipality of Grey Highlands, contractor Walker Construction and engineering firm Burnside and Associates held a special open house in Flesherton on July 12 to inform the community of plans for the upgrades to Highway 10 this summer.

Walker Construction has agreed to delay the start of the project until Aug. 8 in response to concerns from the downtown business community and Chapman’s Ice Cream about highway construction interrupting the busy summer tourism season.

Mayor Paul McQueen attended the open house and said officials from Grey Highlands, including himself, recently met with Walker Construction to discuss the timing of the construction. McQueen said the original schedule would have seen the road work done in July and August.

“That’s been moved back to August/September, after the long weekend. That’s good,” said McQueen. “The infrastructure is diminished and does need attention. We all know it needs to be done. The timing is never perfect.”

Gary Ikona owns the Artemesia Cheese and Fine Food store in downtown Flesherton and said the Aug. 8 start for the road work was going to be helpful for the local economy.

“We were really concerned they were going to start in July, coming out of COVID that was going to be catastrophic,” he said. “Right now, Flesherton is booming. The Aug. 8 start is a compromise we can live with. We all acknowledge that (the work) has to be done.”

Ikona said the parking situation during the construction remains a concern.

“We will hope for the best,” he said.

The project involves upgrading Highway 10 in Flesherton from Margaret Street to Campbell Street. For the work, Grey Highlands received $3 million in funding from the provincial government through the Connecting Link program.

Work includes: road and surface upgrades, curbs and gutter installation, sidewalk upgrades, traffic signal upgrades and localized drainage improvements.

The work will be done on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. During working hours, that section of the highway will be reduced to a single lane. At nights and on weekends, two lanes will be open. The majority of the work will be done in 2023, with a second layer of asphalt applied in 2024.

Paul Hausler is the senior project coordinator on the job for Burnside and Associates.

“The quality of the road has deteriorated to the point it needs to be replaced,” Hausler said at the meeting. “It’s a road rehabilitation project. One lane will be open at all times and we’ll keep traffic moving as well as we can. That’s the plan.”

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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