Thursday, April 15, 2010

City Announces Busy 2010 Infrastructure Construction and Sustainability Plan

Fredericton is about to begin its annual new construction and repairs to the roads, curbs, sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks, as well as water & sewer pipes throughout the municipality. This will be one of our busiest Capital Construction programs ever and comes during a time when the Princess Margaret Bridge will be closed for repairs. We are going to do whatever we can to minimize disruptions while we complete this necessary work.

The Princess Margaret Bridge will be closed from June 19-August 8 while the Province of New Brunswick undertakes a two-year, $73-million modernization of the 52-year-old structure. The City has scheduled its 2010 work on major municipal arterial routes to avoid, where possible, adding to the disruption of traffic expected during the bridge’s closure when excess traffic is routed across the Westmorland Street Bridge in the City’s downtown core. The Province will also continue to work on the Marysville bypass and plans to pave sections of the Westmorland Street Bridge in late May and early June.

Included in the list of municipal projects planned for 2010 are major upgrades to streets around the new Conference Centre (Queen, St. John and King) to accommodate changing traffic patterns expected when the new Conference Centre opens later this year. The project is one of the recommendations of the recently completed Capital City Traffic Study, which provides the City with a comprehensive plan for improving the City’s transportation infrastructure over the short, medium and long terms.

Other Capital City Traffic Study recommendations to be implemented this year include: the installation of traffic signal lights at the intersection of Forest Hill Road and the Princess Margaret Bridge ramp; the continued upgrading of Hanwell Road; the median closure on Regent Street at Albert Street; and new traffic signals on Union Street ,near the Devon Plaza.

Major City infrastructure rebuilding projects involving road closures include a six-week shutdown of Brookside Drive and a three-week closure of St. Mary’s Street. A water & sewer main replacement project will close Longwood Drive for six weeks from Fulton to Lilac. Victoria Street from Westmorland to Smythe will be closed for two months while the City reconstructs a trunk sewer line.

Beginning with the 2010 Budget, the City is beginning a 20-year strategy to sustain the City’s infrastructure to ensure its roads, streets and sidewalks as well as its water and sewer systems are replaced as they wear out. This strategy enables us to ensure sustainability of services by maintaining and replacing core capital infrastructure in a planned, financially responsible manner by tackling the core capital infrastructure deficit over time.

A Google Map showing the City’s 2010 Capital Construction projects will be posted on the City of Fredericton website at www.fredericton.ca in time for the construction season. The construction zones are colour-coded based on whether or not the work will involve street closures, minor delays or reduced speed.

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