PEI

Commuters can expect delays on Hillsborough Bridge for 6 to 8 weeks

People who drive across the Hillsborough Bridge should prepare for a slower commute, with one of the bridge's four lanes set to be closed for six to eight weeks. 

Reduced to 3 lanes of traffic as sewage pipe installed

The Hillsborough Bridge will be down to three lanes of traffic during 6 to 8 weeks of construction on the new wastewater treatment pipe. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

People who drive across the Hillsborough Bridge between Charlottetown and Stratford should prepare for a slower commute starting next week, with one of the four lanes on the bridge set to be closed for six to eight weeks. 

Work is set to begin Oct. 15 to build the new sewage pipe which will send Stratford's wastewater to Charlottetown's waste treatment facility, a written release from the province said Tuesday.

The province said drivers can expect "minor delays " as the pipe is built under the Hillsborough Bridge. 

"We are trying to minimize the disruption as much as we can," said Stephen Yeo, chief engineer with the Department of Transportation. 

The Department of Transportation will close the south lane to traffic. The centre lane will reverse directions, based on traffic demands and different times of day. In the mornings, there will be two lanes of traffic open to travel from Stratford to Charlottetown, with one lane in the opposite direction. In the evenings, there will be two lanes from Charlottetown to Stratford as commuters return east. 

During the construction the speed limit on the bridge will be reduced to 50 km/h.

Pedestrians will only be allowed to use the north walkway, and cycling will not be allowed on the bridge. Cyclists will be able to walk with their bikes using the pedestrian walkway. 

Work is expected to be complete on this first phase of construction by December. Work will continue under the bridge through the winter.

'We'll have a great result'

While the construction may cause delays, for many, seeing the sewage project underway is good news.

"That's a wonderful project, so we should do everything we can to support that. If we go slower, that's fine. In the end we'll have a great result," said Cathy Livingstone, who lives in Stratford. 

The Stratford sewage lagoon is known for its stink. For many in the area, traffic delays will be worth it, once the lagoon is gone. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Marlene Doiron of the Fort Augustus area, agreed. 

"They've got to do what they've got to do. They got to fix it. That smell this summer was terrible."

Livingstone and Doiron both said they would plan their trips across the bridge based on traffic, until the lane is reopened.

"Get up and go early," said Doiron. 

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