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Broadway Sidewalk Brick Replacement Project Pushed Off


Orangeville’s council decided to push off the Broadway Sidewalk Brick Replacement Project until mid-August of 2022.

On June 28, 2021, Orangeville’s council continued its discussion on the initiative to repair the Broadway sidewalk and bricks and install accessibility compliance and street features. This follows council receiving a petition from affected businesses asking for a delay until the subsequent year at its June 7 meeting. Orangeville councillors will use the time to brainstorm additional street landscaping and features for the project and consider proposals from the community improvement plan. The Broadway sidewalk replacement project is expected to start next year in mid-August and go until the end of October.

The sidewalk replacement work included in the project will span from the intersections of Wellington Street and Third Street in the east, going west to John Street and Broadway. The construction work is to be performed in sections on both sides of Broadway: John Street to First Street, First Street to Mill Street, Mill Street to Second Street, and Mill Street to Wellington Street. Robert Wray of Triton Engineering Services, the consulting engineers on the project, stated that, conservatively, the replacement time for each section of the sidewalk is predicted to be three weeks. The footpath pavement, in addition to the boulevard paving stones, will be changed out. It was communicated that customer access to affected Orangeville businesses will still be possible during construction, enabled by temporary ramps. Roads will also be kept open, as construction crews will make use of the Broadway parking lane. The estimated project cost was $945,000, but that could change now that the project has been moved back and features may be added.

Among the foreseen benefits of reconstructing Broadway sidewalks are improving accessibility by replacing some stepped areas with ramps and adding tactile plates at street intersections for the visually impaired. Modernizing and relocating features such as bike racks are perks assumed to be realized due to the walkway enhancements. Moreover, staff believes there are opportunities to allow for more electrical servicing throughout the area, which could aid in hosting downtown events. Trees, benches, waste receptacles, and other conveniences may also be moved, added, or replaced due to the redevelopment. 

Staff gave Orangeville’s council three options for when the Broadway sidewalk restoration could be completed, Fall of 2021, Spring of 2022, or Fall of 2022. According to the comparison of project schedules, the drawback of delaying the rehabilitation of the Broadway sidewalks is increased maintenance costs to prevent trip hazards and it being longer until the walking surfaces are made safer and more accessible. Overall cost impacts are not included in the report. 

Orangeville’s Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh made the motion to delay the project until the Fall of 2022. Councillor Joe Andrews seconded it.

Although supportive of pushing off the construction, Councillor Todd Taylor reminded businesses that the work needed to be completed and that the town had now moved the work back two years. 

Councillor Debbie Sherwood, who was also supportive of delaying, suggested breaking up the project into two phases, split between the spring and fall of 2022. Sherwood’s basis for the recommendation pertained to the Orangeville Business Improvement Area (BIA) activities and how construction could impact them. The difficulties and costs involved were cited by staff and other councillors as reasons why this was impractical. It was submitted that the BIA could change the dates of its events to accommodate the construction.

Councillor Grant Peters explained how this fall still makes the most sense from an engineering- and cost perspective. That said, he ceded that the ‘incredible outreach we’ve had from businesses’ cannot be ignored. Peters suggested doing it in the Spring of 2022, not the fall, as he believes it would lessen the impacts to businesses as the construction could be finished before patios open. The fall construction plan begins in August, so patios would likely have to be closed prematurely. He also had concerns over the deterioration of the sidewalk bricks and the complications that caused the town.

“This is not a knock on the Blues and Jazz festival, but that one milestone seems to be driving the entire decision to avoid the Spring,” declared Peters. “Many of you are looking to Fall of 2022; I personally believe that is too long.”

Councillor Peters was the one opposing vote to the council deciding to begin the project in August of 2022. Staff are anticipated to come back to the council in September with plans to preserve and enhance foliage along Broadway. Further considerations and additions related to the Broadway Sidewalk Brick Replacement Project are expected to be deliberated by the Orangeville council during the 2022 budget discussions. 

The report included comments submitted by the Economic Development and Culture Office regarding the Broadway sidewalk brick replacement project. It was stated that regardless of when the construction occurs, the organization could assist with mitigating the impacts to businesses. The Economic Development and Culture Office said it could also help incentivize visitation to the downtown core and its businesses. Recommendations were made, such as putting out portable signage stating that the downtown is open for business and increased promotion of the Shop Downtown website. A Downtown Orangeville gift card program and the introduction of contests were also suggested.

References – Broadway Sidewalk Brick Replacement Project Pushed Off

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