Key infrastructure work will be completed on Main Street this fall and early spring, ahead of a possible return of ferry service next summer.
Thursday, August 13th, 2020 - Yarmouth, N.S. – Another major infrastructure project will soon begin to take shape in downtown Yarmouth. At the July regular council meeting, a motion was passed to allocate capital funds needed to begin work on the “Phase III Streetscape Project” as part of the Town’s Downtown Blueprint released in 2010. This redevelopment project will see important work done above and below ground on Main Street, from Parade Street to John Street. Excavation to replace more of the 100-year-old sewer and underground infrastructure will begin next month.
The project will be completed in two stages. The first will see the complete replacement of sewer and water infrastructure. Much like the almost completed Glebe Street sewer separation project, this stage involves replacing the combined rock sewer with separate sanitary and storm pipes and the installation of a new water service line. By separating the storm water from the sanitary line, the load on the Town’s treatment plant is reduced, as clean rainwater flows directly to the harbour. This reduces electricity use at the plant and the overall level of annual “GHGs” (greenhouse gases) emitted by the town. On the surface, new curbs will be built to accommodate future bumpouts and the entire section of street will receive new asphalt.
The second stage of the project will begin in early spring 2021, and will breathe new life into another section of Main Street. Features will include sidewalk bumpouts enhanced with unique “kitchen party” seating, a new bus shelter, “green” technology planting beds, bike racks, new lighting, and the display of public art. The new streetscape will also provide a dedicated pedestrian clear zone with increased accessibility and the retention of on-street parking. The design concept was developed by Fathom Studios and is a continuation of the theme from Main Street’s Phase 1 Streetscape project completed in 2017.
While all work for this project had been set for the spring of 2021, council’s decision came as the result of a recommendation to complete as much work as possible, as quickly as possible, in advance of a 2021 ferry sailing season. Given the sheer amount of work required for this project, a two-stage approach allows enough time for completion before the ferry service begins.
“The work must be done, and Council feels it’s better done now as we don’t want the streets dug up when the ferry returns,” explains Town of Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. “While we know it’s inconvenient with all of the digging, detours and disruptions, this is a good time to get this messy work out of the way. When things get back to normal, we will be ready and looking our best.”
Understanding that an extended period of construction in the downtown creates issues for Main Street businesses, Mood added “we fully appreciate the patience shown by business owners and their customers as we complete this work. We know it brings challenges and sometimes unexpected disruptions. But this is important work that renews some very old infrastructure and gives the downtown another boost. When it’s all done, businesses, residents, and visitors will all benefit from the upgrades. In the meantime, it is our sincere hope that our residents continue to support local.”
Aberdeen Construction, who will finish the Glebe Street sewer project by month’s end, will perform the pipe replacement, curbing, and asphalt for the first stage of work. Construction will begin in early September, with asphalt paving to be completed in November. The contract for next spring’s work will be tendered this fall. Detailed communications on street closures, detours, and water interruptions will be provided in the coming weeks.