LONDON, Ont. - The city is making a big push to finish construction on Dundas Place, but officials admit there are a couple of significant hurdles and some work may be pushed to the spring.
There are concerns about the weather and one very problematic intersection.
Jim Yanchula, the city’s manager of Downtown Projects, says the heavy rains in recent days haven’t helped, “A contractor once told me a day in July is worth three in October. So now we're getting less light, more weather."
And the intersection of Dundas and Clarence streets has become a wild card. Yanchula says contractors are grappling with pipes, cables and conduits that intersect at this spot.
"If there's something that goes wrong with one, you don't want it to affect the others. And when you've only got a limited amount of space, either horizontally or vertically, you've got to figure out; can we stack them, can we move them over."
Still there are signs of optimism including one sign announcing extended hours for Plant Matter Bistro. Plant Matter Executive Chef Mike Thorogood says it’s being done in anticipation of better times to come.
"Trying to draw some more customers back in, building up for the time when the doors will open again with foot traffic."
But, for the time being, the heavy equipment still sits right outside the restaurant’s front door. And potential customers are forced to weave between work sights.
Thorogood says it hasn't been easy, "We built a good client base. Then, once they started tearing up the roads, with the traffic and the parking and all the stuff going on, we had a hard time maintaining that following."
Student Caliss Bailey travels the stretch on Dundas between Richmond and Wellington streets on a regular basis.
She is anxious to see an end to the dirt and the noise but believes the work needed to be done, "I'm a little bit annoyed but I'm grateful that I think it's going to be once-and-for-all fixed."
Yanchula says the city remains committed to having pedestrians and vehicles moving the full length of Dundas Place by mid-December at the latest.
The plan is to complete all work on either side of Clarence and, possibly, putting a patch of asphalt on that troublesome intersection of Clarence and Dundas so they can come back to it in the spring.