Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Orillia will spend $55 million on major construction projects over the next eight years, including a downtown revitalization estimated to cost $18 million.
The price tag – in today’s dollars – includes the reconstruction of Front Street, re-alignment of Centennial Drive, constructing a sanitary pump station, building a transit terminal and reconstructing the main street is about $55 million.
The plan is for these major capital infrastructure projects to be completed in sequence by 2027.
“As many of the projects are interconnected, a systematic execution is essential to the successful implementation of the vision of our downtown,” Wes Cyr, the city’s manager of engineering and transportation, told council last week.
In order to create the maximum usable space in the waterfront area and relocate Centennial Drive to the desired alignment, it was determined that the existing CN trunk sanitary sewer located within the former railway right-of-way would be relocated to Front Street.
The Downtown Orillia Streetscape Improvement Plan (DOSIP) created a streetscape design concept that will facilitate a more pedestrian friendly environment – including Mississaga Street between Albert Street South and Front Street North, Peter Street between Coldwater Street and Colborne Street, West Street bet ween Coldwater Street and King Street and the waterfront Esplanade, (also known as Lakeview Avenue) between Mississaga Street East and Elgin Street).
Cyr provided descriptions of each project and a schedule for the work:
Front Street Reconstruction Project: 2019 and 2020
Estimated cost: $14 million
The Front Street construction contract was initiated in the spring of 2019 and will be completed in 2 phases between 2019 and 2020.
Phase 1 is the reconstruction of Front Street South from Queen Street to Colborne Street East and phase 2 will commence in the spring of 2020 and involve the reconstruction of Front Street from Colborne Street East to Neywash Street.
Through the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process, the cross section of Front Street will consist of four lanes from Queen to King Streets and three from King to Neywash.
The design of Front Street includes the addition of the trunk sanitary sewer main that currently exists on the CN right-of-way. This relocation will facilitate the planned future realignment of Centennial Drive and open development space in the waterfront area.
Centennial Drive Realignment/Reconstruction Project: 2021 – 2023
Estimated cost: $15 million
The Centennial Drive/Waterfront Area project focuses on realigning the Centennial Drive right-of-way to enhance traffic flow and promote active transportation and vehicular traffic connectivity between downtown and the waterfront.
This will include the extension of Coldwater Street East from Front Street North to Centennial Drive as well as an extension of Colborne Street East and Elgin Street to the Esplanade (Lakeview Drive).
A new Sanitary Sewage Pumping Station and local collector sewer system will be required prior to the trunk sewer being removed from service. This is anticipated to occur during the first year of construction of the Centennial Drive project.
During the second year, it is anticipated that the new alignment will be defined, and Coldwater Street East will be extended to intersect with Centennial Drive.
Transit Terminal – 2022 – 2023
A transit terminal location study and functional design is currently underway with a final report expected in December.
Mississaga Street/Downtown Improvement Project
Timeframe: 2024 – 2027
Estimated cost: $18 million
The Mississaga Street project – 1,820 linear meters of roadway and five signalized intersections focuses on safe pedestrian movements and accessibility throughout the Mississaga Street corridor (Front Street to Albert Street), and improved services.
“This project is vital to the health of Orillia’s downtown,” Cyr said. “Updates to infrastructure (sewers, watermain and utilities) will ensure the downtown is ready for future growth. The streetscape portion will improve pedestrian experience and accessibility, while providing downtown businesses with more attractive, safe and accessible storefront areas.”
Through the design phases, staff will evaluate the introduction of green infrastructure to reduce road pollutants from storm water run-off.
Underground infrastructure will be replaced, including watermains and services, sewer mains and services and storm water works. Consultation with the private utility owners (gas, communications, hydro) will occur prior to project implementation to determine if replacements are needed. Phased construction should take three to four years to complete and will be phased.