‘Big Dig’ public meeting set for April 23

Last week members of Wellington North council met with Mount Forest BIA representatives and engineers to see final details of the coming Big Dig on Mount Forest’s main street.

The mega project involves reconstruction of Main Street (Highway 6) between Birming­ham Street and Highway 89.

It will not be a simple task because the work being covered is from building to building – and not curb-to-curb – and it will involve the replacement of most of the major services in that part of town – from water and gas lines to storm sewers.

The work also includes re­con­necting all of those services with each business and building and dealing with roof drains, which previously connected with sanitary instead of storm sewers.

That work means the re­moval of the decorative brickwork and replacement with a patterned paving which is hop­ed to be easier to repair when required.

Trees seemed to be a bone of contention, not only in the numbers, but the way in which they would be planted.

Council’s discussion with the BIA centred more on what will be the final product – the streetscape itself – including trees, lighting, and decorative work.

At a later council session, Works Superintendent Gary Williamson noted the Big Dig will not be happening for a while. The tenders have yet to be sent out and cannot be initiated until the engineering drawings are approved by the Ministry of Transportation.

“It will take however long it takes,” he said of that process.

Mayor Mike Broomhead said the hope is work will start later this year sometime after the Mount Forest Fireworks Festival this summer.

Earlier this year, Wellington North finally received $1,179,000 funding approval for the connecting link project in downtown Mount Forest be­tween Birmingham Street and Highway 89.

A public meeting for residents is set for 7pm on April 23 at the Mount Forest fire hall.