Despite a few delays caused both by weather and contractors, three of Stratford’s major road infrastructure projects are on track to be complete before the end of September.
Now in week four of the Douro Street reconstruction — which spans from Romeo Street east to C.H. Meier Boulevard – contractors are in the midst of milling the asphalt in the eastbound lane, despite the absence of new asphalt in the westbound lane.
“They’re doing that today and tomorrow because they had booked the machine quite a while ago, so they had to get that in today even though they had hoped to get some paving done on the (westbound) lane on Wednesday,” said Ed Dujlovic, Stratford’s director of infrastructure and development services. “However, they had fallen a little bit behind because we came across some issues with concrete around catch basins that added time to the project to get the work done.”
Because the concrete surrounding the catch basins took a few more days to chip away than was expected, Dujlovic said contractors will have to move ahead with work on the eastbound lane before the westbound lane is complete.
“So the road’s going to be granular over the weekend, however (the contractor) will have some people on-call in case they have to get in and do some grading and fix the road if there’s problems,” Dujlovic said. “And then they’ll be paving the (westbound) lane on Monday. If they get it all paved Monday, they’ll probably flip the traffic over to it for Tuesday.”
Once the contractor moves on to the eastbound lane, Dujlovic said they will mirror the excavation, catch-basin, and reconstruction work already completed in the westbound lane. Dujlovic expects the Douro Street project to be complete on-schedule, by Sept. 21.
A little further north, contractors working on the Romeo Street bridge are currently relocating utilities underneath where the new sidewalk will be and constructing new barrier walls after having widened the bridge structure.
After that work is complete, it will only be a matter of laying down asphalt for the road surface and concrete for the sidewalks.
“With the number of working days left, they’re supposed to be done by Sept. 10, but we’re concerned they may not make it,” Dujlovic said. “The other issue is, if you have rain you could lose more days.”
Though Dujlovic and the contractors have their concerns with the project’s timeline, he said they’re doing all they can to meet that Sept. 10 completion date.
“I do know that the contractors have brought in some additional resources to move the project along,” Dujlovic said.
Over at the St. Vincent Street Bridge, Dujlovic expects the road to be reopened by the time school is back in at the beginning of September, while the sidewalks and concrete barriers are expected to take a little longer.
“We had to add some working days because workers did run into some things that added to the original work schedule. For instance, when they were doing some concrete removal and duct removal, the ducts they came across had asbestos, so that slowed down the process,” Dujlovic said. “You have to follow the rules and you have to go through the proper procedure for removing that, so that slows things down.”
Heavy rain could also delay the contractor’s work on other projects, which could, in turn, delay work on the St. Vincent Street Bridge.
“We’re pressing the contractors to move as quickly as possible,” Dujlovic said. “We’re putting the pressure on them and we’re staying on top of it and talking to them, and seeing what we can do.”