King William St. project is heavily delayed; Huntsville business owner wants more communication

Agatha Farmer

HUNTSVILLE - The King William Street project is heavily delayed as is communication with business owners along the construction route.

During an update on infrastructure projects at the October Engineering and Public Works committee meeting Coun. Brian Thompson inquired about the status of the King William Street project in Huntsville.

“This project is dragging on and on, can someone tell me why this is taking so long. It has become a major concern for the traffic flow of Huntsville,” he said.

Mark Misko, director of transportation and engineering, confirmed that the project is heavily delayed.

“The project is progressing slower than we originally anticipated ... we understood that we were 2 to 3 weeks behind, we are finding out that may not be the case with respect to the conflicts we are seeing with utilities,” he said.

Misko indicated that district staff was to meet with the contractor regarding scheduling last week . He mentioned that there was talk of bringing in additional crews since August but that has yet to materialize.

“There is some other challenges with respect to some of the underground utility lines,” he said.

Misko noted that district staff did a thorough investigation upfront, however working around utilities has resulted in heavy delays.

He understands that there are “some” traffic concerns, however his department had not been “overwhelmed with concerns from the public or the businesses.” Staff has encouraged owners to reach out to the district.

It seems entrepreneurs in the area, however, are busy running businesses during a short economic season. All while being plagued by service interruptions and relying on the district to provide information and updates promised to them prior to construction during several public consultation meetings.

The Le Nails nail salon is located within ground zero of the current construction zone. Owner Jolyne Bui said that to date very little communication has actually occurred.

In fact until Muskoka Post reached out to her with information from the committee meeting she had no idea that the project has been delayed.

“I had no idea, I have a client who owns a business down the road who mentioned that by now they should have been moving along further,” Bui said.

Construction has impacted her business with interruption in phone services, power and water outages.

“The noise has become an inconvenience and all the other interruptions ... and there are very minimal information updates. Even during the power outage, when they accidentally knocked out the power, there was no information and nobody had come in and told us what had happened or even how long it was going to last,” she said.

Bui said she “absolutely” would like improved communication from the district.

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