Oakville residents and downtown businesses can mark Friday, Nov. 20 on the calendar because that is the day Lakeshore Rd. will re-open and construction comes to an end.
The $20 million project, which began in April 2019, has seen the ripping up of roads and the redesign of the streetscape that is intended to revitalize the downtown neighbourhood. The hope is the new look will give an updated and fresh appearance that will continue to attract people into the area for years to come.
The new design reveals a freshly paved Lakeshore Rd. as well as more space for pedestrians and cyclists. The presence of trees will be felt as will the new street lights and benches. The most modern touch will be public Wi-Fi access as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
“We reconstructed the road. We built new sidewalks, boulevards and parking areas. We installed new street lights, new traffic signals and pedestrian crossovers and street furniture,” Jill Stephen, Director of Engineering and Construction told Oakville Town council last night. “The new streetscape incorporates the traditional elements that we heard are so important while upgrading the materials…and adding new features.”
Stephen said some work will continue past the substantial opening date — specifically on Trafalgar Rd. — that won’t affect what is happening on Lakeshore Rd. As well, minor repairs may need to be done next spring depending on deficiencies that may arise during the winter. She added the pandemic did not cause any delays in the construction process.
Still, the construction, combined with the coronavirus, had an impact on several downtown businesses as they struggled through road closures and parking disruptions. At several times the Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Association asked Town officials to speed up the process to assist faltering businesses, but that never came to fruition as the project wraps up precisely within the framework planners had expected.