Construction and tree clearing underway in Sault Ste. Marie

It's construction season and a number of projects are underway in Sault Ste. Marie, ranging from road resurfacing to complete rebuilds.

Local residents may have also noticed a number of trees disappearing from the streetscape downtown.

One of the bigger projects the City of Sault Ste. Marie is taking on this summer is resurfacing and strengthening the boardwalk along the St. Mary's River.

Carl Rumiel, the city's manager of design and transportation engineering, said there has been some erosion along the boardwalk due to rising water levels.

"We're putting in some erosion control," said Rumiel. "They're essentially large concrete bags -- concrete filled bags -- that they're (placing) down on top of the sea wall underneath the boardwalk and backfilling with these concrete bags to prevent erosion."

He said this year's roadwork schedule is light compared to previous years. The biggest construction project is the complete rebuild of Third Line between Sault Area Hospital and Black Road.

"That's a full reconstruction with new curbs, sidewalks, storm sewer, and a new multi-use path on the south side of Third Line," Rumiel said.

City crews have also been busy removing trees along Queen Street East downtown. City spokesman Jordan Allard said this is due to an invasive species making the rounds in the area.

"Due to the emerald ash borer invasive species, some of these trees were dying," said Allard.

"Obviously, the city recognizes the important role that trees and greenspace play in the beautification of the downtown core. So, all of the trees that are being removed will be replaced. And the plan is to do so when construction work is scheduled for the area in 2023."

The city is also gearing up to resurface McNabb Street between Willow and Pine Street, as well as sections of North Street. The roadwork is expected to carry on into the fall.