Joint Media Release: Diggin' Downtown Construction Schedule Update

Posted On Friday August 20, 2021

(Huntsville, ON) –The underground and aboveground streetscape transformation continues in historic downtown Huntsville. While the Diggin’ Downtown project has experienced setbacks due to aging service connections and continuous heavy rainfall, project partners have established a new construction schedule and added an additional construction crew on-site to minimize delays.

The Stage 2 completion goal has been set for mid-September, and completion for Stage 3 is anticipated mid-November. The additional crew will assist in reaching these goals and some shifts may continue into the evening hours and weekends. Partners recognize the importance for businesses and residents to be notified of evening and weekend construction scheduling. Every effort will be made to notify those affected by these schedule changes where appropriate.

Current road closures and established detour routes will remain in effect until Thanksgiving.

What’s Next

Underground utility replacements will impact the Centre Street and Main Street intersection as we move up the street. Staff understand this busy intersection connects communities from each direction - traffic studies and detour routes are being investigated, to keep traffic moving around the area. Staff will better understand timing and traffic impacts after reviewing the progress made this summer. Work will be expedited in this area to reduce disruption and reopen this intersection to normal operations as quickly as possible. 

Schedule Update

The Diggin’ Downtown project is approximately four to six weeks behind schedule. Crews are working to complete the majority of the Diggin’ Downtown project by mid-November of this year and beginning Stage 4 (Centre Street to Lorne Street) in early 2022. Project partners are optimistic Diggin’ Downtown can get back on track with the additional crew on-site for the remainder of the summer.

Anticipated Timeline: As of August, 2021

  • Stage 1 – Substantially complete
  • Stage 2 – Now until mid-September
  • Stage 3 – Now until mid-November
  • Stage 4 – 2022

The Diggin’ Downtown project team will be releasing a Community Information Session (CIS) video next week available at Huntsville.ca and EngageMuskoka.ca, highlighting accomplishments so far, key contacts and more information on what our community can expect to see in the next couple of months.  

Project Reminders

Downtown Huntsville remains open for business. Although the construction zone is closed to vehicles, pedestrian access remains open and accessible - there’s plenty of parking and many exciting promotions happening downtown.

- Summer is in full swing – and Downtown Huntsville is busy. Motorists are reminded to take caution near intersections and on detour routes and please yield to pedestrians.  

- Boaters are reminded that water levels remain high, please be cautious and ensure the height of your boat canopies fit under the swing bridge – signs are in place to provide advance warning.

- Traffic studies continue on various intersections throughout the project – timing is being adjusted based on peak times and monitored throughout each Stage

- Downtown Huntsville remains accessible for pedestrians, and all businesses in the construction zone are open following COVID-19 protocols.

To stay in the know regarding construction news, timelines, detour information, maps and resources for the duration of the project visit Huntsville.ca/diggindowntown.

Residents, businesses and visitors are encouraged to ask questions on EngageMuskoka.ca/Huntsville-downtown-streetscaping.

Background:

Diggin’ Downtown construction began in March 2021 to address aging underground water and sewage infrastructure. Replacing the infrastructure also created an opportunity to improve the pedestrian experience with new sidewalks and streetscape elements to provide a more attractive and accessible downtown, including a smooth new driving surface.

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For More Information Contact:

GENERAL MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Denise Corry,

Chief Administrative Officer
(705) 789-1751 x2356

cao@huntsville.ca

 

CONSTRUCTION TECHNICAL:

Stephen Hernen 

Director of Protective Services

Town of Huntsville

(705) 789-1751 ext 3823

Steve.hernen@huntsville.ca

 

Mark Misko

Director, Engineering & Transportation

District of Muskoka

(705) 645-6764 x 4225

mark.misko@muskoka.on.ca