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Portion of Main Street to be closed for sewer separation construction, bump-out work

A portion of Main Street from John to Cumberland streets will be closed for an "extended period" as sewer separation work continues and bump out work starts.
A portion of Main Street from John to Cumberland streets will be closed for an "extended period" as sewer separation work continues and bump out work starts.

YARMOUTH, N.S. – A portion of Yarmouth’s Main Street will be closed to traffic for an extended period of time starting Wednesday as construction continues on a sewer separation project and construction starts on a bump-outs project.

The section of Main Street to be closed to traffic effective March 22 is between John Street and Cumberland Street. The closure will last about two months.

“They’re hoping to be off of Main Street in June, so before tourism season hits,” says Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, who also says some of the closed sections may be reopened before that as work finishes in certain areas.

Sidewalks will still be accessible, as will the Brown Street parking lot from the Brown Street and Hawthorn Street approaches.

The section of Main Street to be closed to traffic effective March 22 is between John Street and Cumberland Street. The closure will last about two months.

“They’re hoping to be off of Main Street in June, so before tourism season hits,” says Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, who also says some of the closed sections may be reopened before that as work finishes in certain areas.

Sidewalks will still be accessible, as will the Brown Street parking lot from the Brown Street and Hawthorn Street approaches.

Some of the sewer separation project work took place last year from Water Street up along Brown Street. Work continues on sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure, along with replacement of the water main.

“At the same time they’ll be working on putting the bump-outs in when the street is all torn up,” explains Mood.

The bump-outs are part of downtown streetscape improvements that were identified as key priorities by council in 2014 as part of a rejuvenation of the downtown. They were also part of the Yarmouth Downtown Blueprint Plan completed in 2010 by Ekistics Planning and Design. That report identified bump-outs at three intersections that would include benches, bike racks and trees providing shade. The bump-outs also shorten pedestrian crossing distances at the intersections.

The bump-outs will eliminate some parking spots on Main Street, but not too many, the mayor says.

“We’re trying to create a downtown where people gather,” Mood says. “You just have areas more usable by the residents.”

Some people will likely question why the town is spending money on bump-outs when paving and pothole repair is also needed. But Mood points out the funding from these things comes from different parts of the town budget.

The town has also received $500,000 in funding from ACOA for the Main Street Streetscape project.

 “There is always a plan in place to fix the potholes,” she says, but she notes with Main Street being torn up due to the sewer separation project, it’s a good time to get a jump on the bump-outs.

“This is the perfect time to do it so we don’t have to dig the street up again,” she says.

While the sewer separation project – which eventually will make its way along Cliff Street – will address aging infrastructure, and make the system run more efficiently. Mood says the bump-outs are part of the overall goal to make the downtown a more vibrant place. She says that’s good for the public and the economy.

“Businesses are seeing that we’re investing and so there are businesses starting to pop up in the downtown,” she says. “Because the town makes these investments, you’re seeing the storefronts start to fill.”

 

 

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