Saunders Drive work to start next month

Barricades close off the north portion of Saunders Drive in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. The city says work to replace a large culvert should begin next month. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Replacing a big culvert on a stretch of road in the west end of the city, that has been closed for over two months, could start in the next few weeks.

“We’re looking at a mid-September time frame to have that done,” said John St. Marseille, the city’s general manager of infrastructure, in an interview with Cornwall Newswatch.

The stretch of the road was closed after it was discovered that not only had the culvert corroded but the fill between the culvert and the road above had washed away, leading to a possible road collapse.

On June 13, 2016, the city council passed an emergency resolution to allow the city to spend up to $80,000 to replace the culvert.

St. Marseille explained it’s more than just ordering a culvert and sticking it in the ground – there’s surveying and design plans.

“Looking at approvals because we do need to get approvals to do that installation and construction. Dealing with some survey and legal matters so there’s everything that needs to be considered,” said John St. Marseille, the general manager of infrastructure for the City of Cornwall.

St. Marseille said the contractor is ready to do the work once it’s approved.

Steve Wintle, infrastructure planning division manager, added that it’s a major project because it’s a big culvert (2.4 meters/8 feet in diameter and 60 meters/197 feet long) that’s right beside the generating station for the Saunders Drive pumping station. “So supporting the generator during construction and not undermining it is an issue,” Wintle said.

But the development is little solace for Riverdale residents that have homes backing on Power Dam Drive, who’ve had to endure the extra noise and truck traffic.

“No quiet morning coffee on the deck here. It was so noisy the other night we couldn’t even carry on a conversation. Absolutely ridiculous,” an irate Oak Crescent resident told CNW.

“There’s no truck traffic that’s going south of Haulage Road. We’re making sure to literally police that so the trucks are routing down Haulage Road. We recognize that there’s some short term issues associated with that but that’s just a matter for a short term period until things are resolved,” St. Marseille said.