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A summer of upheaval


Residents on Princess Avenue, Grove Street and the eastern end of St. Clare Avenue in Stephenville need to get ready for some upheaval in their lives.

That’s because starting today work begins on carrying out significant upgrades in these areas that upon completion will see a much better runoff of water and less water buildup on Main Street and near its intersection with Grove Street.

The first phase of this project, from Queen Street up to the lower section of Prince Rupert Drive, which involved installing larger storm sewer pipe was completed in 2014 but with no capital works approved for 2015 the project didn’t continue that year or in 2016.

Since then, approval has been given to go ahead with the Grove Street and St. Clare Avenue jobs, which means digging deep and putting in all new underground services right up to the paving of the streets.

As anyone who lives on a street that has undergone this type of upgrade will attest, it doesn’t always go perfectly or take place overnight.  It’s estimated these projects will take about six months to complete. In the long run it should be well worth it, especially considering the poor shape the surface of Grove Street is in right now and has been in for some time.

Add to that the underground services with new piping going in replacing what has been there for many decades and the short term pain will likely be worth the long term gain.

To brace for the project, which has been awarded to Marine Contractors Inc., the town has been delivering letters to households in the affected area stating that a Toll Free Line has been set up by SNC-Lavalin Inc., the engineering consultant for the project.

There’s no doubt that there will be frustrations by some people on these roads, especially at times when access to their homes may be hampered by the ongoing work. There may also be some concerns by Main Street businesses who could encounter similar issues.

These things hurt, especially during the summer months when business is at its peak; however, this type of work cannot be carried out in the winter so it has to be set to that time span. It’s better to get it completed before it runs too late into the fall.

Patience and understanding will certainly have to be attributes needed to get through this summer in the areas affected.

Those who have strong concerns about what is taking place, especially if its causing a big disruption to their lives should take advantage of the toll free number or the email provided in the letter to get whatever is wrong corrected.

Despite the work that has to be done, people have rights, including access to their property.

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