The estimated price of a major street reconstruction project in Hawkesbury has increased.

A section of Cameron Street is to be rebuilt this year with new sewer and watermains, traffic lights, and a new asphalt surface.  However, staff determined during a review of the plans that a sidewalk should be added to the west side of the street in order to improve pedestrian accessibility.

The budget for the project was at more than $1.7 million but at the March 25 council meeting, an increase of $996,488 was approved, which brings the total to more than $2.7 million.

The addition of the sidewalk means an extra $100,000 cost.

Along with adding the sidewalk, soil tests taken in the area show that the water table is high, and the soils are shallow.  Proper management of those materials is estimated to cost an extra $350,000.

Staff are also including a $265,000 contingency amount in case other expenses come along.

The total project budget also includes $200,000 in gas tax funding, and $10,759 from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF).  An additional $10,500 of interest accumulated on the OCIF amount is also being used.  User fees for sewer and water are to cover $350,000 and $100,000 is to come from the municipal general fund.  Reserve water and sewer funds are also covering $137,000 of the cost.

Engineering Firm McIntosh Perry will do the design work for the project.

Councillor Raymond Campbell asked about design of the sidewalk.  Project Manager Guillaume Boudrias explained it will accommodate a multi-functional use and is intended to improve accessibility.

Sidewalk concerns

Councillor Robert Lefebvre emphasized the importance of sidewalks to the community.

He wants a full assessment of the condition of the 30 kilometres of sidewalks the town is responsible for and for a report on which ones need replacement, repair, or should be abandoned.

Lefebvre suggested using funds leftover from capital projects that are completed under-budget to make the necessary sidewalk improvements.

He noted that many sidewalks currently have asphalt sections where repairs have had to be made to concrete sidewalks.  Lefebvre said those asphalt repairs are done in order to meet minimum provincial standards, but they do not usually last very well.

Boudrias said a report identifying the condition of Hawkesbury’s sidewalks will be prepared and presented to council at a future meeting.