Some $4 million in infrastructure upgrades are either started or in the planning stages in the Town of Carbonear, and municipal leaders are hoping for more as money is soon allocated from the province's 2012 capital works program.
Work is well underway on Phase I of a $1.25 million project on London Road - an important collector road that connects Colmbus Drive with Powell Drive - that will see the installation of new water and sewer, paving, curbs/gutters and sidewalks.
And tenders are expected to be called soon for Phase I of a similar project on LeMarchant Street, roughly from Joe Taylor's Lane to Burke's Lane.
Some significant resurfacing work — estimated at some $600,000 — will also be completed this summer on the following: Crowdy Street, Earle's Lane, Valleyview Heights, Butt's Avenue and Park Avenue.
These projects were approved as part of the 2011 capital works program, with the province and the town sharing the costs.
"We feel we are making a very significant step in improving streets in the town," deputy mayor Ches Ash stated last week. "And we are accomplishing some significant upgrades in our water and sewer for two major areas of the town (London Road and LeMarchant Road)."
Town leaders are especially upbeat about upgrades for LeMarchant Street, since the current infrastructure is unable to handle any significant runoff during heavy rainfalls.
"It's not uncommon to see water bubbling up from the manholes," said town administrator Cynthia Davis.
Council accepted the terms of an agreement with an engineering consulting firm at its May 7 meeting, and the next step is to agree on detailed drawings for the LeMarchant Street project, added Ash.
"We don't anticipate any undue delays," he stated.
Town leaders are now patiently waiting for word on how the province will distribute funding from this year's capital works program.
In bringing down its 2012 budget late last month, the provincial government announced an investment of $130 million over two years for new municipal infrastructure projects.
Towns the size of Carbonear (3,000-plus) will pay 20 per cent of the project cost, while the province will invest the remainder.
The town has applied for some $9 million in projects, including additional phases for London Road and LeMarchant Street, and resurfacing of the following: Bond Street, Valley Road, Fraizes Avenue and Jane's Avenue.
"We're hoping to get some of those," said Davis.