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First phase of Dunlop Street improvements to begin in September

$9.6 million project 'is not about pretty sidewalks,' says BIA member

Improvements to Dunlop Street from Mulcaster to Toronto Streets are set to begin just after Labour Day weekend and will continue until September 2020 in phases in an attempto to not disrupt merchants and traffic too much.

Improvements for the Dunlop Street revitalization plan carries an estimated price tag of $9.6 million.

This cost includes a road paver option for intersection treatment, contemporary streetlight standards (with options for banners, plantings and receptacles) with roadway illumination and sidewalk illumination, new pavers on the boulevard and new plantings.

The project also includes some much needed below-ground elements such as water servicing, sewers, utility upgrades and roadway improvements to accommodate transit service vehicles.

BIA board member Denise Tucker told BarrieToday the project will take a while, but is much needed for the future of the area.

“This is not about pretty sidewalks," said Tucker. "The last thing we want to do is disrupt the downtown core after the construction to get Meridian Place finished.

“There are many elements of this project that need to be completed and the whole thing can be done in phases to alleviate any further headaches for the business owners and visitors.”

The BIA is contributing $300,000 to the project. Originally, that was to be spread out over six years.

However, that was extended to 10 years at Monday night's general committee meeting. 

The payment plan extension was asked for by the BIA. The BIA also floated a suggestion for free parking while construction was happening. That was rejected by the committee.

“We did ask for free parking while this was happening, but the city isn’t willing to grant that," said Tucker.

"But we will now have an emergency meeting with our BIA board and get back to council before April 15 so as to move the project along,” she said. “As the mayor said at the meeting, we’re all in this together and want to see a quickly completed downtown.”

The project will be set up in three phases with the first happening from just after Labour Day weekend to just before Remembrance Day and will not disrupt the Nov. 11 Remembrance Day ceremony.

The second phase will be from February/March to May and will include Owen to Bayfield Street. The third phase will take care of the west end of Dunlop from June to September.


Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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