Mill Street Revamp Approved In Leamington

A more than $2.6-million-dollar road reconstruction project is about to take over Mill St. in Leamington.

J-and-J Lepera was awarded the contract by town council that will see construction start in August with an expected completion date in November.

New sewers will be installed and Mill St. in the uptown will be transformed into a more pedestrian-friendly space with new streetscaping, landscaping and furnishings.

An initial budget was set at $1.7-million dollars but the scope of the project proved bigger than expected — bumping up the price tag.

Two sewers were found to be well passed their useful life: one was a combined clay tile sewer built in 1916, the other was installed in 1929.

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An overhead look of the Mill St. W Revitalization project in Leamington included in the July 9, 2018 agenda package. (Photo courtesy Municipality of Leamington)

Leamington Mayor John Paterson thinks residents will be blown away with the final product, calling it the the first big step in the plan to revitalize the uptown.

"It's the overall design making Mill Street into more of a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere and area and upgrading just everything all around that immediate area and around the art gallery so, it's quite an extensive project," says Paterson.

The increased scope of the project is also as a result of a council decision in 1988 that saw the Talbot St. W and Erie St. S sewer reconstruction done with a number of properties not provided sewer service connections at the front of the buildings.

Paterson calls it "Step 1" in the municipality's plan to revitalize the uptown.

"What we're hoping on council is everybody will be able to come up and see what can be done, what our plans are and what will happen next on Talbot [Street] West, Queen Street, Erie Street North, South — whatever the next term of council will bring."

A mixture of Clean Water Wastewater Fund surplus, Infrastructure Reserve dollars and federal gas tax funds helped top up the budgeted money for the project.