PEI

Charlottetown traffic delays continuing for 9 more weeks

Drivers in Charlottetown can expect a summer full of traffic delays as the City completes the final phase of its six-year long Spring Park Combined Sewer Separation Project.

The good news: construction project should lead to cleaner water in harbour

Traffic is backed up along University Avenue in Charlottetown on Friday as the City works on a sewer separation project. (Patrick Faller/CBC)

Drivers in Charlottetown can expect a summer full of traffic delays as the City completes the final phase of its six-year long sewer separation project.

Construction crews are working on pipes, many of which are underneath major roads, restricting traffic to one-way-at-a-time along University Avenue and Belvedere Avenue. Congestion has also been a problem in other parts of the city, as drivers try to avoid the affected areas.

Eddie Rice, chair of Charlottetown's Water and Sewer department, says the traffic jams will be worth it in the long run.

"It's for the environment, it's for health reasons," he said.

On Monday, construction will move further up University Avenue. Drivers can expect delays between Belvedere Avenue and the entrance to UPEI. (Patrick Faller/CBC)

The Spring Park Combined Sewer Separation Project will separate storm water from sewage. Previously, the two streams were treated at the same plant. Now, they will be treated separately, which should stop sewage from overflowing into Charlottetown Harbour during heavy rains. The end result will be a harbour clean enough to swim in, said Rice.

"Charlottetown Harbour should be clean and clear ... by August," he said.

Cost split three ways

The federal government pushed the City of Charlottetown to separate storm water from sewage several years ago, said Rice. The project's $18.9 million cost is being split between the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

"Funding has been great. We've had federal and provincial support from square one," Rice said.

I can only say thank you to the residents of Charlottetown generally, the business operators, and to the general public for their support, and help, and patience.– Coun. Eddie Rice

Despite the end goal of a cleaner, safer harbour, Rice acknowledges the traffic delays are a big inconvenience for many drivers.

"I can only say thank you to the residents of Charlottetown generally, the business operators, and to the general public for their support, and help, and patience, because they've seen a lot for nothing. I mean, the work is done and it's covered up so they don't know what we're doing," he said.

More delays on Monday

On Monday, construction will move further up University Avenue. Drivers can expect delays between Belvedere Avenue and the entrance to UPEI.

Pipe installation is also beginning on Nassau Street. The street will be closed between University Avenue and Queen Street, although crews will make sure drivers can still access businesses along any affected route.

The City says the sewer separation project should be complete by the end of August.

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