The opening phase of a $13-million, massive reconstruction of Dunlop Street is underway and moving west.
Construction began in late-August near Dunlop and Mulcaster streets, and is now moving toward Owen Street.
“We extended it from Mulcaster to just east of Owen Street, which was the next phase,” city construction manager Stew Patterson tells BarrieToday. “It was always meant to start on (Sept. 9), so we’re right on schedule. So far, so good.”
Although everything is on target, there have been some complaints, he says.
“You’re never going to please everyone, but we feel we have a great system in place," Patterson said. "There are PR people with the construction company that are keeping people informed, and workers are making themselves available to assist anyone who may be nervous about crossing through the site.”
The construction phase will now run until Nov. 8 and take a hiatus until the nicer weather begins in 2020, which will also allow for the many winter events that happen downtown.
“We stop at the beginning of November so the Remembrance Day ceremonies can take place without interruption and we’ll not get back to work until the spring or late winter, just as soon as the weather allows us," Patterson said.John Linkert Salon receptionist Hailey Rawn said the Dunlop Street East business has not been affected by the work, and staff has been making sure to do their part to keep people informed.
“We just create posts on social media to alert people that there is some construction going on down here, but that we are still open,” said Rawn. “We’re sure to remind people when they finish an appointment that we’ll still have this going on when they’re due back and help them know where to park.”
Rawn says she has also been pleased with the way the city and Downtown BIA have kept shoppers informed about the construction.
“I think they’re doing a great job letting people know what is happening down here. I see signs all over, so it's been really good,” said Rawn, noting there is also still plenty of parking available in the area.
That includes free two-hour parking at the Collier Street Parkade.