Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson will give residents and business owners a break next year. After two consecutive years of road construction along Wilson Street, Ferguson said it’s time for a cooling off period for drivers and business owners along the well-travelled roadway.
“I think we will take next year off,” he said. “There will be a year of no construction.”
This summer’s half-million dollar road reconstruction, which included new curbs and improved pedestrian sidewalks from Halson to Rousseau streets should be completed by the end of this week.
Despite fears from area business owners that the construction, which began on July 29 and had an open-ended deadline, would prevent customers from shopping in the downtown, Ferguson said most of the concerns didn’t materialize. The Wilson Street project had been scheduled to begin the first week of July, but tendering issues delayed the start of the project.
“It went very, very well,” Ferguson said. “I was down there every day. It was inconvenient, and it was a mess, but the disruptions were handled.”
The road work also involved constructing bump outs in preparation for a pedestrian walkway near Memorial School and landscaping the sidewalk areas.
A year ago business owners saw a drop in their sales during the major $4-million reconstruction project on Wilson Street from Halson to Fiddler’s Green, which forced the Heritage Day Parade to be cancelled. But the results, said Ferguson, have residents praising the work. Officials of the Ancaster Heritage Village Business Improvement Area urged upgrading Wilson Street through the downtown, especially the sidewalks, as part of the organization’s beautification strategy.
“I’ve taken some criticism,” acknowledged Ferguson.
Wilson Street businesses owners had hoped the road work would be completed by the end of August and not bleed into September, affecting traffic once students started back to school.
Still, Ferguson wants to complete the Wilson Street road reconstruction project, this time from Seminole Road to the roundabout, but said he will wait until 2015 to get the money to finish the job.