PORT HAWKESBURY: While town council and the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) have each confirmed hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments for the Destination Reeves Street project, other streets, sidewalks and bridges throughout Port Hawkesbury will also get attention over the coming days, weeks and months.
As part of the 2017-18 municipal budget approved by Port Hawkesbury Town Council last week, the town has committed $460,000 towards its ambitious Reeves Street overhaul. According to Port Hawkesbury Director of Finance Erin MacEachern, this municipal contribution is a key factor in the success of funding applications now in the hands of provincial and federal officials.
“It’s significant leveraging of existing funds,” MacEachern told the June 13 town council meeting at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio.
“If we can get a $5.3 million project for $460,000, that’s a great leveraging opportunity.”
The same meeting saw Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton share a letter of support from NSCC Strait Area Campus officials, who have committed to a maximum of $120,000 for one of the key cogs of the Destination Reeves Street project, a connector path between the Port Hawkesbury campus and the busiest sectors of Reeves Street that is designed to serve pedestrians and cyclists alike.
As well, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Terry Doyle confirmed that the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR) has progressed with its official designs for the Destination Reeves Street concept, with town staff and provincial engineers slated to meet to discuss this design’s latest form less than 36 hours after the council meeting wrapped up.
“Invitations will [then] go out to businesses individually with regards to the access management side – that’s with regards to the entrances and exists to the businesses along Reeves Street,” Doyle explained.
In the meantime, Doyle is urging patience and caution for those living on and travelling through Pitt and Napean Streets, the sites of two major upgrades of water and sewer systems and the accompanying asphalt and sidewalk infrastructure. While federal and provincial funds for this project were confirmed in late April, delays in the confirmation of final road surface designs could impede the start of this 1.5-kilometres’ worth of work until mid-July.
“There’s a little bit of disappointment there,” Doyle admitted. “We’re about two weeks delayed, but those tenders are going out very soon, and they should be out on July 13, so we’ll see a great start on that from there… There’s certainly enough time for us to complete the project on time.”
In the meantime, Doyle and MacEachern are predicting a busy summer of asphalt repairs, maintenance and repair of sidewalks, bridge infrastructure upgrades, patching and road resurfacing, as a result of funds committed by all three levels of government and the diligence of Port Hawkesbury’s Public Works Department.
“It’s going to be a very busy summer for Public Works,” Doyle enthused. “The Province of Nova Scotia has also announced the resurfacing of Trunk 4 from the off-ramp to Reeves Street, so that’s going to be another kilometer and a half of roads that will be funded by the province.”