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Brace yourself: Bank St dig resumes Easter Monday

Somerset to Arlington to be excavated between now and November

BIG DIG. Watch out for noise, dust, and possible vibrations during construction, according to a city notice. Credit: Paul Galipeau

It’s a familiar sight on Bank St: back hoes, dump trucks and hundreds of metres of metal fencing.

Work begins on Bank St between Somerset and Arlington as early as Apr 13.

A notice to area residents and businesses explains that the road work is part of a project to replace aging pipes and sewers the run under the street. Residents and businesses are likely already familiar with the construction, since the street was excavated in both 2007 (Wellington-Gloucester) and 2008 (Gloucester-Somerset).

“Roadway reconstruction, sidewalk replacement, replacement of the existing combined sewer with a newer sewer, new sanitary services, new street lighting, tree planting, and other streetscape elements are also part of the coordinated work,” the notice reads.

But it’s the inconvenience that Centretown residents are most familiar with. This year’s construction cuts a path through a portion of Ottawa’s fledgling gay village, including directly in front of Wilde’s, After Stonewall, the Bridgehead at Bank and Gilmour and the Buzz restaurant.

Last year, Tom Ramsay of One in Ten told Capital Xtra that business at his Bank St sex shop was down by about 20 percent during the construction.

Rob Giacobbbi of Wilde’s has been preparing for the construction for a close to two years. He’s already notified his customers about the upcoming road closures and purchased parking spaces for his customers in the lot behind his store.

The notice to residents lists some of the foibles residents and customers will face in the coming months.

“This work may result in some inconvenience to you, such as minor delays in traveling through the construction zone, noise, dust, and possible vibrations during construction,” reads the notice.

Glenn Crawford is the chair of the Village committee. His group will be encouraging people to brave the construction to spend a little cash in Bank St businesses.

“If you live or work in the area, it’s still really easy to walk around in, and you may even see some cute construction workers. Just make an extra effort to get out in the street and shop, eat and meet,” he says. “Everything’s still open and they would really appreciate your business.”

As well, the Village folks will be throwing a fundraiser to raise money for rainbow banners for the street Apr 14. The flags help identify the area as a place that we live and work in.

“We’ve seen this in many Villages across North America: Villages create prosperous, safe and diverse neighbourhoods that become tourist destinations and marketable business areas,” he says. “We care deeply about turning Bank Street into an exciting and unique area for everyone in Ottawa to enjoy.”