What to Expect During Capital Project Construction

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about road construction, including information for property owners.

What do I do about vibration during construction?
Protect valuables;  Use of heavy equipment during construction can cause vibration.  Please ensure that you have protected any valuables susceptible to damage.
Should I protect my lawn-watering systems, landscaping and fencing?
Property owners who have privately owned lawn-watering systems, ornamental landscaping, and/or fencing on the road allowance may be required, at their own expense, to remove and re-install these items onto their own property. Please contact the City Project Manager to determine if you have any items that may require relocation or removal prior to construction.
Should I expect an interruption in my water service?
Connection of the new watermain to the existing system will result in potential service disruptions several times throughout the duration of the project. Residents and business owners will receive a door hangar with a minimum of 24 hours advance notice of scheduled construction work that affects you normal water supply, and the duration of the planned interruption.

Temporary service disruptions will also occur when each property owner's water service is switched over to the temporary system (if applicable), and then again when switched to the new system.  These distributions typically last for 30 minutes or less, and only affect one house at a time; not the entire street.
Will my garbage and recycling be picked up?
The City and the Contractor will make every effort to maintain garbage and Blue Box collection operations during the construction. The Contractor will assist in collecting and transporting garbage and recycling if your pick-up point is blocked by construction. We recommend that you clearly label your containers with your name and address, so the contractor can return the bins to their correct homes.
Will I have access to my driveway?
Yes, however there will be minor delays from time to time during construction for underground service installations and concrete curing. Driveway access will be maintained to the extent possible.  When concrete curbs and sidewalks are being installed on the project, the homeowner/resident will not have access to their driveway for a period of up to a week for both curb and sidewalk installation.  Residents and business owners will receive a door hangar with a minimum of 24 hours notice of scheduled curb and sidewalk installation.  When driveway access is obstructed, the property owner can park on any surrounding City side street that permits on street parking.  Residents may also park on the construction site outside of working hours.  Working hours generally run from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Driveway access restricted as sidewalk is being poured.
Driveway access restricted as sidewalk is being poured.
Will my driveway/walkway be replaced with the same material that was there before?
Your driveway and any walkways will be replaced with the same material that was there before, with one exception:

If you have a stamped/coloured concrete driveway, the contractor will replace the portion that was removed with regular concrete.  However, if the homeowner does not want regular concrete, a credit can be given instead for the contract price to install regular concrete.  The homeowner can then use this credit to hire their own private contractor to install stamped/coloured concrete.

Private concrete sidewalk replaced with new concrete to match existing conditions.
Private concrete sidewalk replaced with new concrete to match existing conditions.

What will happen with the boulevards after construction?
Topsoil and sod will be used to restore boulevards and other grassed areas affected by the construction operation. To ensure sodded areas have established a strong and healthy root system, the City's contract requires the Contractor to water and maintain the newly placed sod for 60 days following placement. During this 60 day maintenance period, the City is asking property owners to participate in the watering process to encourage growth. At the end of the 60 day period, all turf maintenance and watering of sod reverts back to the individual property owner as it was prior to construction. Residents will be delivered a door hangar outlining when the sod was placed, how long the contractor will water it for, and some additional information to give your lawn the best chance to thrive. We remind you that the normal watering restrictions do not apply to newly seeded areas.

New sod being installed on disturbed lawn area.
New sod being installed on disturbed lawn area.
What should i do if my landline/internet cuts out from construction?
If your phone or internet service cuts out at any point during construction, notify the City Project Manager or Inspector, and the contractor will contact the service provider to come out and make a repair.  Contact information for the appropriate City representative is listed on the construction advisory notice.  It is also recommended to contact your service provider yourself, in addition to the contractor.
Will I be able to access my driveway during paving operations?
Paving operations will result in temporary driveway access restriction.  When asphalt is being laid, if you require use of your vehicle, remove it from the driveway by 7:00 am.  The typical length of driveway restriction is one working day per placement.  Residents and business owners will receive a door hangar with a minimum of 24 hours advance notice of scheduled paving.

Typical top-coat road paving operation.
Typical top-coat road paving operation.
Why is there a boulevard between the curb and the sidewalk?
A boulevard is the grass are between the back of the concrete curb and the sidewalk.  The main purpose of these is to improve the safety of pedestrians using the sidewalk.  The extra distance between the road and the sidewalk keeps pedestrians safe by keeping them further away from hazards, and also acts as an area for snow storage during the winter months.

Grass boulevard between curb and sidewalk.
Grass boulevard between curb and sidewalk.
What are the expected construction working hours?
Typical hours and days of construction will be Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.  However, some underground utility work and primary intersection work may occur after hours and at night.  Weekend work may be required pending weather restraints and to maintain schedule.
What happens if there is a deficiency once construction is completed?
All City road reconstruction projects contain a one-year warranty from the time of substantial completion.  After construction concludes on a project, a walkthrough of the site will take place by the City's Project Manager.  Any deficiencies will be recorded and submitted to the contractor for repair.  A second walkthrough will take place the following year, just before the one-year warranty is up.  Again, any deficient work will be recorded for the contractor to correct.  Any deficiencies identified by the homeowner after the one-year warranty period has lapsed will not be at the contractor's responsibility to rectify.  If the homeowner identifies a deficiency within one year of construction, please contact the contract administrator.

Settlement of topsoil under sod, causing a deficiency.
Settlement of topsoil under sod, causing a deficiency.
Why do I have overland wires from bell and rogers on my lawn?
During construction, Bell and Rogers service wires are not located, so there may be instances when the cables are cut by construction equipment.  When the service technician repairs the wire, it will be left on top of the grass so that it does not get severed during the remainder of construction.  Once heavy machine work is complete, the service technician will come back out and re-bury the wires.  If the service wires have not been reburied within 4 weeks of completion of construction, please contact the City Project Manager or Inspector.
What will happen to my mail service during and after construction?
During construction, the Canada Post mailboxes on your street may need to be temporarily moved out of the construction zone.  For the duration of the project, residents will be able to pickup their mail from these new temporary locations, until the mailboxes are reinstalled in their permanent location after construction concludes.  Residents will receive notification from Canada Post of when mailboxes will be moved, where they will be temporarily relocated to, and when they are going to be moved back.
Who do I contact with project related inquires?
Before construction begins on your street, all residents will be delivered a construction advisory notice containing project details, safety information, and contact information. Every City construction project has a project manager and/or site inspector; any project related questions or concerns can be directed to either City representative.
What is a capital project?

A Capital Project refers to a City of St. Thomas project that replaces or repairs City owned infrastructure, such as water, sewer systems or roads. These components of interrelated systems provide services essential to enable, sustain and enhance societal conditions. Every Capital project has a City of St. Thomas Project Manager that can be contacted to discuss the project.