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Sidewalk from Timmins Square to Home Depot area part of project

The west-end Connecting Link work is $2.1 million more than budgeted
Timmins director of growth and infrastructure Scott Tam talks at council on April 25, 2023.

As work starts on the downtown section of this year's Connecting Link work, a contract has been awarded for west-end work. 

Miller Paving has been given the $11.98-million contract to reconstruct Riverside Drive from Government Road to Shirley Street. The City of Timmins had budgeted $9.8 million for the work, putting the project $2.1 million over budget. 

The shortfall will be covered by Ministry of Transportation funding, with the balance being self-financed and covered with future capital funding. 

The project includes restoring the asphalt, drainage improvements, new curbs, a sidewalk on the north side between Government Road and Shirley Street, new street lights and upgrades to the traffic signals. 

The sidewalk will be on the north side and will allow people to walk from the Timmins Square to the intersection of Government Road and Riverside, where the Home Depot plaza is.

When work starts, Coun. Rock Whissell, who represents the area, said that it is important for Miller Paving to communicate with businesses in the area about any disruptions such as water shutoffs. 

With over $25 million of roadwork planned this year, Coun. Bill Gvozdanovic said it's wonderful news and asked if it was unprecedented.

To CAO Dave Landers' knowledge, it is the largest program the city's done.

“It's a lot of work and the department has a lot in front of them,” said Landers. 

Usually, the city only does work on one section of the road at a time. 

With nearly $74 million over eight years from the Ministry of Transportation to put towards Connecting Link projects, the work schedule has been revised.

RELATED: Revised work plan pitched for Connecting Link

The other segment of Connecting Link work being done in 2023 is from Wilcox to Cedar Street. Today (April 25) Algonquin Boulevard shut down from east of Waterloo to Elm Street to prepare for the first phase of the project.

During the first phase of work downtown  — to complete the section not finished last year — Algonquin will be fully closed from east of Waterloo to Elm Street. Westbound traffic will be diverted to the north detour, which is Elm Street to Fifth Avenue, north on Mountjoy to Vimy then west on Vimy to Theriault Boulevard, which leads back to Algonquin. There will be a temporary three-way stop at Vimy and Mountjoy and a four-way stop at Theriault and Vimy. 

The south detour is Cameron Street to Commercial Avenue, north on Mountjoy to Third Avenue, then north on Elm to Algonquin. There will be temporary traffic lights at Commercial and Cameron, and Commercial and Mountjoy. 

Heavy truck traffic will be sent around the downtown core altogether. 

That detour includes Shirley Street, Lafleur Drive, Laforest and Highway 655. 

The temporary 50 km/h speed zone is back in place for the heavy truck detour and will see the speed limit drop on Airport Road for about 1.25 kilometres after the Laforest intersection.