Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Great Excavate?
The Great Excavate is a downtown renewal project that will replace the aging water and sewer infrastructure within the municipality’s downtown core. The first phase of the project will involve the lower three blocks of Beckwith Street between Chambers Street and Russell Street. The project will include renewed streets, traffic signals, lighting, sidewalks, cycle tracks, landscaping and various streetscape upgrades. This project is being planned with a focus on open and ongoing communications between the Town, Downtown Business Association (DBA) and its members as well as other stakeholders in the work zone. The key goal of this initiative will be to minimize the impact of the project as much as possible.
How will the construction affect traffic downtown?
Beckwith St. will be open for southbound traffic through the three blocks of the construction zone. All other northbound traffic flowing across the bridge will be detoured onto Chambers Street and ultimately to Elmsley Street. Additional detours will be in place for Jasper Avenue, Old Slys Road and Queen Street to accommodate large commercial truck traffic heading northbound.
Will I still be able to park on the street downtown?
There will be no parking on Beckwith Street within the construction zone. Removing the parking is a critical part of ensuring the Contractor receives the needed space to carry out the work in an efficient manner. All on-street parking will be available on each of the side streets as usual. Public parking lots will also be available on Market Street and Main Street West within a block of the construction zone.
How is curbside garbage and recycling handled during construction?
Curbside waste and recycling pick-ups will generally not change during construction. All property owners will be required to set out materials at the curbside for 7am each morning in order to ensure collection service. The Contractor will round up all curbside materials and take them to a convenient location for collection by the Town’s curbside collection provider. Owners are asked to please label their blue and yellow boxes with your civic address number so the Contractor knows how to get them back to you.
How do businesses get deliveries during construction?
The Contractor will work with individual businesses to help facilitate loading needs during construction. Where possible, businesses should communicate their loading/unloading practices to the Town prior to construction. Help the Town understand your general needs by sharing details on your operations. What size of trucks provide deliveries for your business? How often do they serve you and where do they generally park? Are the deliveries provided at a specific time of day?
How long will access be blocked to my business during construction?
The Contractor will be required to develop a pedestrian management plan that will provide quality access to local businesses throughout construction. However, there may be a period of disruption for several hours when sidewalks are poured during the late phases of the project. The Town and the Contractor will be working closely with local businesses prior to scheduling those activities.
Will there be service interruptions during construction?
Some temporary interruptions in water and wastewater services will occur throughout construction however the Town and the Contractor will take all reasonable efforts to keep these impacts to a minimum. Special considerations will be made for sensitive businesses that serve food as well as other establishments that rely heavily on water like hair salons.
Will the properties be inspected prior to construction?
The Contractor will be required to carry out pre-construction surveys for all buildings located in the construction zone. These independent inspections will help identify any pre-existing defects and will help resolve any future conflicts arising from construction. Owners will receive individual letters with more information regarding the inspection program prior to construction.
Will my building require interior plumbing work?
Many of the water and sewer lines on Beckwith Street have outlived their useful service life and building services are similarly also in need of replacement. The Town will be working with individual property owners, wherever possible, to coordinate installations through the foundation walls as part of this project. Property owners may have the ability to receive these upgrades at no cost provided reasonable interior access is both granted and available.
What signage will be in the construction area?
Way finding signage will be placed throughout the construction zone to assist the general public to get around and also to help them locate businesses on each block. Additional signage will be provided to indicate safe locations where people may cross the street within the construction zone.
What if I want to add a patio space for my business?
If you have future plans for applying for a patio, be sure to reach out to the Town as soon as possible so that these details can be evaluated as part of the final reviews for the new streetscape design. There is some flexibility in for placing of benches, bike racks, etc. so letting the Town know what your plans are ahead of time is best.
What if I am planning major building renovations?
Property owners looking to carry out major work on their buildings need to share construction plans with the Town to ensure schedules do not conflict.
What communications will be happening during construction?
The Town of Smiths Falls will be providing regular notices and updates on the downtown project through the Town’s website and Facebook page. The Downtown Business Association will also be sending construction updates and promotional opportunities through the e-newsletter, newsletter, the DBA website as well as Facebook.
What promotions will be happening during construction?
The Smiths Falls DBA will be running several joint business promotions during the construction period. We will send notices of our promotions through our e-newsletter. Please make sure you have subscribed to our e-newsletter and that we have your email address so that the DBA can ensure you are included in all communications. If you have any suggestions for fun, unique promotions please let the DBA know about them. DBA members are encouraged to undertake their own promotion and marketing efforts and the recent announcement of funding available through the DBA Digital Main Street may be off assistance in those individual business efforts.
What are the plans for fixing the remainder of Beckwith Street?
The Beckwith Street redevelopment is being carried out as two separate construction projects due to the size of the overall project. The first phase of work between Chambers and Russell is advancing this year and is the most complex phase and involves the majority of the Beckwith Street businesses. This part of the project will be largely completed in 2019. In 2020 another key transportation project at Lombard and Abbott signalized intersection will be carried out. While that is happening the downtown businesses will have a break from construction and the municipality will design and tender the second phase of the Beckwith St project as well as pursue additional provincial and/or federal grants for the second and final phase of the Beckwith St. project which includes the Town Square. The second shorter and much less complex phase (fewer businesses, less underground work, fewer intersections) of the Beckwith St. project will include Russell Street to Elmsley Street and will be completed in 2021.
Who do I call to ask questions or to share information about my business?
Co-ordinator Downtown Business Association
phone: 613.283.4124 ext. 1114
W. Troy Dunlop, C.E.T.
Director of Public Works and Utilities
phone: 613.283.4124 ext. 3305
Information for Downtown Property Owners, Business Owners and Staff
“The Great Excavate, Survive & Thrive Information Session for Downtown Businesses” was held on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Lots of great information was shared by town staff and other BIAs who have gone through construction in their downtown. Below find a wrap report of the session by the DBA and Chamber, the slide deck of presentation by Troy Dunlop, Director of Public Works & Utilities on the project and a great video from Napanee BIA on how they survived their construction.