As work continues as part of the second phase of the Centennial Drive Area Improvements project in the downtown waterfront area, the City is reminding residents and visitors there will continue to be impacts to parking and waterfront access as we head into spring.
“Construction continues this spring to make significant improvements to infrastructure and realign Centennial Drive. This is a critical project for the waterfront revitalization planned over the next several years,” said Mayor Don McIsaac. “We are investing significantly in our downtown waterfront and surrounding areas to improve infrastructure and revitalize the area and we appreciate the patience of residents, visitors and businesses impacted as the work continues this spring.”
As part of Phase 2, the Centennial Boat Launch Parking Lot is closed to vehicular traffic. Canice Street is closed at Brant Street, and Tecumseth Street is closed east of Parkview Avenue. Centennial Drive remains closed between Mississaga Street East and Tecumseth Street (see key map). The road closures will affect local vehicle and pedestrian access to the Couchiching Beach Park boat launch parking lot, Waterfront Centre parking lot, and Terry Fox Circle.
Due to the proximity to Couchiching Beach Park, and to safeguard the public from the work zone, a safety fence is in place. It is anticipated that the current closures will remain in place until mid-to-late June 2023. Weekly progress updates will be provided on the Centennial Drive Area Improvements webpage, emailed to a project mailing list, and on the City’s social media channels.
“We are working with the contractor to mitigate disruptions during construction; however, in order to ensure safety while installing new infrastructure, road closures and access restrictions are required,” said Wes Cyr, Manager of Engineering and Transportation. “The City is finalizing operating plans to help provide convenient access to the waterfront this summer with a shuttle service pilot and we will be sharing more details soon.”
The Centennial Drive Reconstruction Project Phase 2, which began in August 2022, includes construction of local sanitary sewers and watermains on Centennial Drive to service redevelopment in the area; construction of large underground storm water quality control structures to improve the quality of the storm sewer discharge; burying of the existing overhead power lines; and road reconstruction and realignment in the Canice Street/Centennial Drive/Mississaga Street East corridor between Brant Street East and Front Street. The total budget for the project is $17.8 million.
Additional projects, including Laclie Street Reconstruction Phase 1 and Tecumseth Street Reconstruction, are anticipated to begin later this spring and will also impact the area. The City will be working to ensure coordination of the various projects to minimize closures. More information will be provided once projects have been awarded and timelines are available.
For details regarding the Centennial Drive Reconstruction Project Phase 2, and to sign up to receive updates during the project, visit orillia.ca/centennial.