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Construction along McTavish street
Construction along McTavish St. is set to address issues with piping required to supply water to McTavish Reservoir. (Jack Neal / McGill Tribune)

Work on McTavish Street water pipes to continue through October

McGill/Montreal/News by

With the city’s construction on McTavish Street to continue until October, provisions have been made to facilitate students’ usage of the SSMU Building in the upcoming months.

The current work on the water pipes under the road started on April 30 this year and was scheduled to continue throughout the summer.   

The McGill website previously gave no clear date for the construction’s completion, however. 

“The actual completion date will depend upon contingencies that might arise,” the McGill website on the construction updates read.

According to Adrian Nicolicescu, McGill’s internal project manager (IPM), “given the complexity of the street condition, the mouton rock and the presence of hundred-years-old pipes” the city has now revised the project schedule to last until October.

Street Fest, an event during which McGill clubs and organizations gather on McTavish Street to promote themselves to new students during frosh, was cancelled this year due to the extended construction. Instead, new students attended an event called Discover McGill at the Molson Stadium.

McTavish’s limited accessibility is not expected to hinder Activities Night, which will take place on Sept. 9 and 10, according to Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) VP Clubs and Services Stefan Fong.

“It’s not a problem for me because we expected this construction to happen last year, so we already have three alternate routes for Activities Night if the construction gets worse [this] September,” Fong said. “The line should be on the sidewalk and not the road.” 

Gonzalo Nunez, the city of Montreal’s spokesperson, said that there was consultation between the city’s representatives and university officials.

“The university and representatives of the city met several times to plan the organization of this work with the many activities of the university, [and] its needs in terms of logistics and the importance of maintaining the safe site given the many students on McTavish Street,” Nunez explained. “Overall, the layout [that] is in place meets the demands and expectations of McGill University. During construction, a constant dialogue was [maintained] with the university.”

Part of the accommodations agreed upon were two interruptions requested by McGill University: During the final exam period and graduation. According to Nunez, the two interruptions contributed to the delay.

In the meantime, sidewalks on both sides remain accessible. In terms of security, fences were installed given the traffic on McTavish, and three crosswalks were also set up.  Waste collection services and access to the east side of McTavish are also provided at all times.

Nunez explained that the replacement of the main pipe is necessary to supply the McTavish reservoir. Currently, the main pipe is out of service as a result of a recent flooding of the street in 2013, and the reservoir is temporarily supplied by two secondary pipes. Those pipes will eventually be replaced under the same construction work. Altogether, the construction work should prevent flooding and further work on McTavish for years to come. The construction will also install more storm sewer drains, as requested by McGill, according to the university’s website on the construction.

Both Nunez and Nicolicescu said that hey were confident that the October deadline will be respected.

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