Wortley's woes as construction season enters winter season

Already at their wits' end, homeowners along a stretch of Wortley Road are learning that road reconstruction will have to pause for the winter and resume next spring.

“It is frustrating,” admits homeowner Reg Watson. “Now we are into the wet weather and we’re looking at a muddy situation.”

Work to replace sewers, water mains, stormwater drains and other infrastructure began in May and was to be substantially completed by late fall.

Supply chain issues are being blamed for slowing the arrival of water mains for the project.

“With Wortley, it was definitely delays because of the water main supply issues,” explains Jennie Dann, director of Construction and Infrastructure. “That did push us back later than originally planned.”

Dann expects the water main installation should be completed this month.

Before Christmas, the contractor will winterize the road with a temporary hard surface.

Permanent sidewalks, curbs, and asphalt must wait until spring.

“There won’t be time to do the permanent concrete ones, they’ll try to put in the temporary asphalt sidewalks so there is a hard surface that can be maintained over the winter,” says Dann.

“For some people this is a safety issue,” says Betty Barrett, who lives on Wortley Road. “This is not just an inconvenience for people with disabilities, this is a barrier to their inclusion in our neighborhood.”

Barrett believes more should be done to assist neighbours who have limited mobility, visual impairment or anxiety during the extended construction period.

Dann says the delay will not impact the timeline of next year’s phase of reconstruction along Wortley Road.

Additional costs related to the delay will be covered by the project’s contingency budget.