The time has come to dig up Water Street and update the plumbing under the oldest street in North America. To read more about this project, and how it will all go down, read this article Dave Lane wrote for us.

Exploratory work on the water and sewer infrastructure on Water Street is scheduled to begin on Sunday, July 12, at 11 p.m. This exploratory work will involve minor excavation and drilling to secure some video footage of the existing sewer systems, trace the water mains, and confirm the location of underground electrical. (Perhaps you’ve noticed the orange spray paint on the sidewalks along Water Street? They’re tracing existing electrical lines.)

“Given we’re dealing with literally the oldest street on the continent, records are spotty and it’s hard to say exactly what’s under the pavement,” Dave Lane has told us. “That means digging a little bit here and there and sending down some cameras to get a good sense of the existing infrastructure.”

While there will be periods of construction and brief street closures, the real disruption actually starts in Spring 2016. Over the next few months, consultants will visit properties along Water Street to investigate ongoing water and sewer issues, as well as how these properties connect to the main infrastructure.

“Based on feedback received from local organizations and associations, we have decided to do this work in the evenings to minimize traffic disruptions as much as possible,” explained Councillor Galgay. “Most of the work will occur Sunday to Thursday between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., during which time sections of Water Street will be closed to traffic.” The exploratory work is expected to take 4-6 weeks to complete.

“Although tearing up Water Street section by section to replace the underground infrastructure will be inconvenient and disruptive, we see this as an opportunity to consider how we would like one of our major streets to look and function into the future,” said Councillor David Lane. “We will take this opportunity to engage with residents, business owners and others with a vested interest in the downtown on improvements that can be made following construction.”