Niagara Stone Road is all chewed up after a seven-year plan finally hit the road. Literally.
Anyone driving through Virgil should expect traffic delays while construction workers give the regional road some much-needed attention.
For now, most of the construction will run from the intersection at Four Mile Creek to Line 1 Road.
That phase of the project is expected to wrap up in the fall.
Once completed, the region will begin work on the stretch from Line 1 to East and West Line, says a report from the region.
Residents can expect multiple improvements from the construction, including improved storm sewers, road conditions and car capacity, said Marah Minor, a spokesperson for the town.
According to the region’s report, a middle lane for left-turning vehicles will run from Four Mile Creek to Line 1.
The workers will also be installing new signals, sidewalks, crosswalks, overhead lighting and landscaping features.
The town will be paying about $1.4 million to cover the cost of the landscaping additions, Minor said.
The region will be footing almost 80 per cent of the nearly $10.1 million contract, though, a regional spokesperson said.
The region is also working with NOTL Hydro, which is using the construction as an opportunity to move overhead wires and infrastructure underground.
NOTL Hydro president Tim Curtis said it was a little more cost-efficient to do that now.
Curtis said the utility is spending just over $1 million on the project.
In the long run, he expects it to be cheaper to maintain as well, despite it being more expensive in some cases to repair buried hydro infrastructure.
“You’re less likely to get outages from accidents, people running into poles or from weather events, because it’s better protected underground,” Curtis said.
Regional Coun. Andrea Kasier said there was a definite issue with traffic congestion in Virgil.
The road work is “definitely going to help,” she said.
Despite the traffic issues, town Coun. Erwin Wiens has some objections to the road expansion.
“I don’t know why we’re trying to speed everything up to go through there (Virgil),” Wiens said.
“We should be slowing people down. It’s a village,” he added.
Kaiser plans to report to the town council later this month about the construction on Niagara Stone Road.