It is really surprising how much has changed in Welland since the 2008 recession came into effect, there are signs all around that the recession is over and Welland is ready to get back into business. Just as soon as progress starts to be made, especially in the downtown area there is always another wave of infrastructure projects. This time around the WElland Construction blitz is focused on roads.
East Main Street Backups
As a frequent driver along East Main Street and daily user of the new roundabout I've grown a healthy feeling of dread regarding infrastructure projects along my daily commute. East Main Street between Wellington and Empire Street is a completely avoidable stretch, that I never seem to remember to avoid at eight o'clock in the morning.
The dread will be back in full swing during the upcoming snowy season when road lines are less than visible, folks from out of town may be unfamiliar with the roundabout, and the smooth stretch of East Main Street will be packed with people looking to barrel down the oversized roadway at full speed.
King Street Grinds
King Street is also under rapid reconstruction, given that the last repaving took much longer than expected there are already concerns from residents and businesses on the street. It has already been a tough year despite any of the best efforts by Illuminaqua to bring people back to the downtown area of King Street. There are literally to many barriers to development along the canal trails and King Street, given the combination of fences at Illuminaqua, steep parking rules along an empty street, and broken equipment turning the street dark or tripping out people enjoying Merritt Park and its fountain.
King Street South is about to experience the same kind of frustration, including the newly reopened restaurants, bars, and a cupcake cafe. The only consistently successful business in that area appears to be the Bamboo Restaurant. It seems as though nothing can stop great take-out.
Pavers Move Faster than Banner Staff
The most surprising part about the repaving in Welland is that the asphalt was removed so quickly, less than a week between the start of the grind and the whole section being turned into a tire grinder. I've included a picture with this article to demonstrate how October construction overlaps the remaining Canoe Niagara and World Championship banners from the event held in August 2013.
Hopefully the banners will come down before the Panam Games. Although we may be waiting for winter decorations to come down first.