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Updates on Uxbridge Culvert Replacement – What’s Happening?
Things are going to be changing in and around Uxbridge with the pending Downtown Culvert Replacement on Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) . Below are some Questions and Answers to help you navigate through the construction phase.
1. Why does the culvert on Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) need to be replaced and why now?
The culvert is a critical piece of infrastructure located beneath Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) that requires replacement. Historical records of flooding in the downtown Uxbridge area have been documented since 1932. Continuing detailed studies undertaken since 1983 have confirmed that a flood hazard exists during the Regional Storm (Hurricane Hazel) for land adjacent to the main branch of Uxbridge Brook, particularly between Elgin Pond and just north of Brock Street West. The studies have concluded that the culvert which encloses Uxbridge Brook between Centennial Drive and the north limit of the parking lot north of Brock Street West acts as a ‘bottle-neck’ during the Regional storm event, and that to reduce the flood hazard, the existing culvert must be removed and replaced with a larger culvert.
In addition, the existing culvert consists of nine various culvert sections connected together, some of which are over 100 years old and are in a state of progressive structural failure, requiring removal and replacement as soon as possible. The current timing of the culvert replacement is a result of the Township of Uxbridge obtaining funding from three levels of Government (Federal, Provincial and Regional governments) to assist with the cost. The Township has been planning for the culvert replacement and budgeting for the Township portion of this capital expense for many years. Once the culvert replacement is complete it will allow future opportunities for redevelopment and revitalization.
2. What happens if we don’t carry out this replacement?
If the downtown culvert is not replaced it will continue to deteriorate to a point of collapse. Without replacement of the culvert, should a storm of historic proportions (Regional Storm) pass through this area, severe flooding will result. In addition, with the increasing impacts of climate change, there is a continuing and greater likelihood of flooding through this urban area. Installation of a new culvert will reduce the flood zone and this may encourage and assist the future potential redevelopment in the downtown due to the reduced flood zone.
3. When will construction begin and end?
It is anticipated that the construction will commence in late Spring or early Summer, 2018 and wrap up in early 2019.
4. How will the construction of the culvert impact downtown businesses and residents?
The construction will have an impact on downtown businesses and residents, and will affect parking, and vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow. Planning is currently underway to develop staging plans with a focus on minimizing local impacts as much as possible. Parking lots and on street parking will be affected on a rotating basis and with the temporary closure of Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) at the culvert crossing, traffic will be detoured around the construction area. Local traffic will still be able to access Downtown and some parking will be available.
5. Will Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) be closed completely; if so for how long?
Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) will be closed to through traffic between Toronto Street South and Bascom Street during the construction on Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street). Early estimates indicate that the road may be closed to through traffic for approximately four months. Pedestrian access will be open on Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) as much as possible during construction.
6. Which buildings are being torn down?
The culvert will be installed under 34 and 36 Brock Street West. This will necessitate the demolition of both buildings.
8. What is the plan for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the area affected?
The culvert will be completely buried. No area of the watercourse will be left open. There are redevelopment plans for the properties at 34 and 36 Brock Street West. As the risk of flooding is mitigated, the opportunity for property owners to redevelop other Downtown properties will be enhanced.
9. Will the Uxbridge Brook be opened up so the Brook is visible?
The culvert of almost 200 metres in length will be entirely buried from the one end to the other. Having an open section of the brook was considered but determined not to be feasible since the depth of the bed of the brook lies approximately 18 feet below the surface of Brock Street West.
10. Will residents and business owners have a say in what the finished project looks like?
The plans for the culvert construction are currently underway. There have been a number of information sessions hosted by the Township along with commenting opportunities and the plans are being developed in accordance with the conclusions and recommendations of the study, and consultation to this point. Further review and consultation opportunity will be provided as the planning continues. The Township is currently considering further public consultation regarding future opportunities for redevelopment and improvements that can take place, with a reduced flood zone. The Township is also considering undertaking a revitalization study in 2019 in the Brock Street West (Lower Brock Street) area subject to 2019 Budget approval.
11. Where is the Youth Centre and Durham Region Police Service (DRPS) moving to?
The Township is negotiating the relocation for the Youth Centre. DRPS is contemplating a new location in Uxbridge.
12. What side of Brock Street West will the project begin at (south or north)?
The construction staging plans are currently being developed in partnership with the development of the detailed design. Further refinements of the staging plans will occur once a contractor has been selected.
13. What’s a Regional Storm?
We are designing the culvert for a Regional Storm event (similar to Hurricane Hazel) with peak flows from a 48 hour long rainfall event. This is the conventional measurement used by Conservation Authorities for this area and has been used for all the study work to this point.
14. Where is up to date culvert information going to be available?
The Township and its project partners will use multiple means of communication throughout this project. A communication strategy is being developed and will be released prior to construction. One of the key communication tools will be the Township of Uxbridge website.
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