Sees the positive in local disruption
Opinion by Dave Glover
As many citizens know, infrastructure construction is necessary work that towns and cities do that snarls traffic and just gets in your way.
There’s nothing sexy about upgrading roads and replacing or repairing the pipes under it, because the work is necessary.
From roadwork to culverts Cobourg residents have seen it all. This summer in Cobourg was no exception.
For folks along Westwood Drive in Cobourg’s west end, we’ve had to live with traffic disruption since the 3rd of July.
That’s when Behan Construction began the mammoth task of tearing out and upgrading waterlines and water mains.
Now, one would be correct if they imagined a summer of noise and discomfort but… parents I spoke with said they had mixed feelings. Sure the disruption was annoying, but their kids have been having fun. This is a neighbourhood of families small and big.
One dad I chatted with said it warmed his heart to see kids playing in the giant piles of dirt and enjoying watching the heavy equipment move it. And smashing up the roads, too! What kid doesn’t like that!
He said it reminded him of being a kid and that his boys, he has 3, were excited to be playing outside instead of inside attached to their devices.
I found this sentiment to be prevalent among the parents who live along Westwood. Sure the road work was a nuisance but that was offset by the adventures their kids were having.
I reached out to Behan Construction regarding the upgrades to the area and spoke to Tim Robinson, project manager at Behan.
At first, he was expecting a complaint. As those are usually the calls they get regarding construction. He was pleasantly surprised by my observations.
As a Westwood resident I know the work began on July 3rd and is due to end in November.
I told him at the rate his team is going it looks like they may finish ahead of schedule.
He laughed and said that they’d likely finish on schedule as the great summer weather meant some work was ahead. Some of the blacktop work that usually comes later has already been done making some streets useable.
The final layer of asphalt unfortunately won’t be completed until the spring as the cold temperature interferes with it setting properly.
I told Tim that the families I’d spoken to and a few of the tenants in my building have been quite impressed with the pace of the project. Again, not something he hears a lot of when it comes to infrastructure projects.
As a resident of Cobourg, I know we don’t usually get excited about this kind of work but in this case I just have to give a tip of my hat and a thumbs up. The construction has gone smoothly with minimal disruption to life.
The local kids had a great summer outdoors, something I’m sure nobody factored into planning, the work has gone smoothly, and frankly, I think the water tastes better now.
Bring on that new blacktop, Behan! You do good work!
Dave Glover is a well known cultural and political commentator in Northumberland. Thousands of listeners, both locally and worldwide, know Dave because of his “Drive Time” radio broadcast that ran for more than 8 years and his 15 years hosting political programs on a local cable channel.
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