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Archaeological work on Highway 19A to start in fall

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Roughly two kilometres of sewer and water pipes are now installed along the highway.

But for now, the work will be wrapping up in anticipation of the wet weather. The city says this marks the completion of the second phase of the three-year waterfront project. 

The city’s original goal was to have pipework finished by the end of summer, but it has been postponed to 2020. The city says in the statement it’s because a midden has been discovered near Rotary Beach Park. 

The sewer pipe will be installed along this section of the highway as part of next year’s scheduled construction. This is to allow for the archaeological find to be properly cared for and assessed. 

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Midden is archaeological evidence of past First nations occupation around the area. Middens can include shells, bone, botanical material and other artifacts. Construction work can sometimes encounter middles when doing ground excavations in this region. 

The city says there are policies and permits required to ensure they are properly assessed and managed once found, especially if there are any items of special interest. 

“We have completed many important steps this year that set the project team up well for 2020’s construction season and our targeted completion next year,” general manager of assets and operations Dave Morris said.

“We thank everyone for their patience with the work over the summer.”

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Even though the most disruptive activity in the three-year upgrade is over, people using Highway 19A will still continue to see intermittent work throughout the fall and winter months. 

The city says traffic disruptions will be minimal. 

Next year’s construction will complete the sewer work, as well as the aboveground work along the highway, which includes the Rockland Road roundabout. This means there will be a highway closure next year. The city will release more information as details are confirmed.

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