Herbert Street reconstruction

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Welcome to the project page for the planned reconstruction of Herbert Street between Allen Street East and Union Street East. Construction activity is tentatively scheduled for 2022. The city intends to completely reconstruct this section of Herbert to replace the aged watermain, sewers, and road structure (i.e. sidewalk, curbs and asphalt). This will also include the replacement of water and sanitary service laterals up to the common property line, including replacement of lead water services on city property.

Project updates will be posted in the newsfeed and the current progress of the project is noted in the project timeline. The page will also be open to public comments for limited time periods following the release of design information, so please check back often or sign up to follow the project to receive email updates.

Welcome to the project page for the planned reconstruction of Herbert Street between Allen Street East and Union Street East. Construction activity is tentatively scheduled for 2022. The city intends to completely reconstruct this section of Herbert to replace the aged watermain, sewers, and road structure (i.e. sidewalk, curbs and asphalt). This will also include the replacement of water and sanitary service laterals up to the common property line, including replacement of lead water services on city property.

Project updates will be posted in the newsfeed and the current progress of the project is noted in the project timeline. The page will also be open to public comments for limited time periods following the release of design information, so please check back often or sign up to follow the project to receive email updates.

  • Design stage virtual public information session

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    The City of Waterloo and our engineering consultant, Walterfedy, are pleased to present the first of two Public Information Centre’s (PIC). This update provides the most up-to-date design drawings (PDF) for the reconstruction of Herbert Street from George Street to Union Street East. (Please note that the technical design drawings document is not accessible. If you require this information in an alternate format, please contact our project team.)

    Typically PIC’s are held in person, but right now the city is still not holding in-person events. We hope that the information presented here helps answer most of your questions about this project so far. If you have any additional questions or concerns as you review the drawings and information, please submit them to us using the Questions tab and we will provide responses as soon as possible. Feedback must be submitted by December 17, 2021 in order to potentially influence the design.

    What is the scope and schedule of the work?

    This work is tentatively scheduled from approximately mid-April 2022 to November 2022, once all technical and financial approvals are received.

    The specific improvements planned for Herbert Street between Allen Street East and Union Street East include:

    • Replace the existing sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and watermain to meet current capacity requirements and design standards.
    • Replace the existing sanitary and water service laterals to each home from the new mains to the property line.
    • Replace the existing curb and gutter, asphalt, and concrete sidewalk. Sidewalks will be replaced with new 1.50 metre wide sidewalks meeting the minimum width required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
    • Replace all existing driveway ramp entrances within the municipal right-of-way to conform to current city standards.
    • Disturbed grassed areas will be restored with topsoil and sod. Hardscape surface features intended for access such as asphalt and concrete walkways and driveways will be restored to pre-construction condition or better. Areas of custom landscaping and associated hardscaping will not be restored by the city (as outlined further in the section on landscape features within city property).

    The improvements planned for Herbert Street between George Street and Allen Street East include:

    • Replace the existing storm sewer and a portion of the sanitary sewer to meet current capacity requirements and design standards.
    • Replace the existing sanitary and water service laterals where necessary for the installation of the storm and sanitary sewers.
    • Replace the existing curb and gutter, asphalt, and concrete sidewalk where required for the installation of new storm and sanitary sewers. Sidewalk will be replaced on the west side of the road with new 1.50-metre-wide sidewalk meeting the minimum requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
    • Replace all existing driveway ramp entrances on the west side of the road required due to installation of storm sewer, within the municipal right-of-way to conform to current city standards.
    • Disturbed grassed areas will be restored with topsoil and sod. Hardscape surface features intended for access such as asphalt and concrete walkways and driveways will be restored to pre-construction condition or better. Areas of custom landscaping and associated hardscaping will not be restored by the city (as outlined further in the section on landscape features within city property).

    Before this construction, Enbridge Gas will be upgrading most of the gas main along Herbert Street. Most of the gas work will be done using ‘trenchless’ installation; but some digging will be required in boulevard areas.

    Are there any changes proposed to the existing streetscape?

    The streetscape will not change a lot, although it will be brought up to new standards. The road will be narrowed so that the new sidewalks can be the required width of 1.5 metres. Some trees have been identified for removal by the city’s Forestry department. These trees include one in decline that could pose a safety hazard, and three ash trees that are likely infected with the emerald ash borer. These trees are marked on the drawings.

    One possible change we would like your feedback on concerns the boulevard space between the curb and sidewalk. The drawings currently show this space as being finished in concrete, since our experience has been that maintaining attractive natural landscaping in narrow boulevards can be difficult. However, this change is not mandatory and we would like to know whether residents would prefer concrete, or for it to remain as a space for grass or other landscaping (in accordance with city by-laws).

    Who will be doing the work?

    A private contractor selected through the city’s public tender process will do the work. Representatives from the selected contractor will be available at a second public information centre to be held before construction begins in the spring of 2022.

    Can residents upgrade their existing sanitary sewer and water services?

    Between Allen Street and Union Street, all water service laterals for single-detached homes within the municipal right-of-way will be replaced with 25-mm-diameter polyethylene pipe from the watermain to the property line, and all sanitary service laterals within the municipal right-of-way will be replaced with 100-mm-diameter PVC pipe from the sewer main to the property line. There may be some exceptions to this rule such where mature trees are on top of service laterals, in which case the replacement of the lateral may stop short of the property line in order to preserve the tree.

    Should the property owner wish to further increase the size of their water or sanitary service lateral within the municipal right-of-way, the city will cover the base cost for the above-noted service lateral sizes and the remaining cost will be borne by the property owner. Please contact the city’s Project Manager to discuss details specific to your property.

    Can residents have the contractor complete additional work on their private property (such as up-size water or sewer service laterals, repave driveway, install new concrete patio, etc.)?

    No. The city’s standard contracts prohibit contractors from completing work for residents on private property under the terms of the contract. Most heavy construction contractors that have performed work for the city in the past have not agreed to doing private work for residents when asked.

    Access and parking

    In order to carry out this work, we will need to close Herbert Street to non-local traffic. During road reconstruction, vehicle access to private property may be possible, but it will be considered to be at your own risk as you will be traveling through a construction zone.

    Although not always possible during every phase of construction, you will typically have vehicle access to your property in the evening and on weekends. Please note that there will be times when driveway access with a vehicle will not be possible, such as when concrete work is being completed in front of your property. Some of these instances, like the pouring of new concrete curbs and sidewalks, will be known in advance and we can provide notice for them. Other instances unfortunately may occur with little notice due to unforeseen site conditions. These times will be minimized as much as possible, however we encourage you to contact the city in advance if access is required at a specific time, in order to confirm access will be available. Please contact the city’s Project Manager as soon as possible if you have any mobility or health issues that require accommodation during construction.

    During times when you do not have vehicle access to your property, or if you do not wish to travel through the construction zone, you will be able to park on neighbouring streets. An on-street parking permit will be provided by the city. This permit allows for unlimited parking during the day and overnight parking; however, residents must still follow other usual parking restrictions, such as no parking in front of fire hydrants, or in no parking zones. Residents will be provided two parking passes prior to the start of construction. If additional passes are required, please contact the city’s Project Manager.

    Sidewalks and pedestrian access

    We will maintain pedestrian access to all properties as much as possible, although some disruptions will occur. During construction, we will leave as much of the old sidewalk in place for as long as possible. Sections of sidewalk will need to be removed as construction progresses in order to replace water and sanitary service laterals, but these disruptions should be short term. When a portion of sidewalk needs to be removed, the contractor will provide a level, gravel walking surface for pedestrians. Near the end of the project the remaining sidewalk panels will be removed and the new sidewalk installed. Pedestrians will not be able to travel on the new sidewalk for at least 24 hours. Please contact the city’s project manager as soon as possible if you have any mobility or health issues that require accommodation during construction.

    Will sanitary sewer and water services be interrupted?

    To maintain water service during construction, we will construct a temporary watermain along the surface. A plastic pipe will be run in front of your property with a flexible hose attached to the water service lateral behind the existing curb stop valve in front of your property. It will look strange, but your water service should continue as usual.

    Sewer and water service will be maintained throughout the construction. However, short interruptions can be expected, particularly when installing or dismantling the temporary watermain, or when sanitary services are transferred from the existing sewer to the new sewer. In the majority of cases, interruptions will be limited to a few hours and will occur during normal working hours. We will provide advance notice before any planned service interruption.

    How will disruptions be minimized?

    It is important to the City of Waterloo that we complete construction with a little interruption to the neighbourhood as possible. By nature, road reconstruction and sewer replacement is disruptive, and at times will create noise, vibration, and the potential for dust. To mitigate dust during construction, water and calcium chloride are periodically used. Construction activities are typically limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Surface landscape features existing on city property

    During road reconstruction projects, the city occasionally finds that residents have landscaped the city’s boulevard in some fashion. The boulevard is defined as the space between the edge of a roadway and the property line. Along Herbert Street, the property line is located 2 to 3 metres behind the back edge of the existing sidewalk, depending on the location.

    The city’s By-Law to Regulate Work on Highways and Boulevards allows for residents to alter the boulevard by planting herbaceous (i.e., non-woody) plants in the boulevard, provided they are maintained at a height of less than 45 centimetres. However, the city notes that it is not responsible for the cost of reinstating these landscaped areas if they are disturbed as a result of infrastructure maintenance activities such as road, sidewalk, sewer, and service lateral rehabilitation. The city’s standard for boulevard reinstatement is topsoil and sod only. Residents wishing to maintain any plantings will need to remove any plants they wish to keep prior to construction, and notify the city’s Project Manager of plans for reinstatement.

    All non-herbaceous plants will be removed and reinstatement will be prohibited. Any landscape features that interfere with sightlines will also be removed and not reinstated. Irrigation systems are specifically prohibited; the city will not reimburse homeowners for damage to any irrigation system in the boulevard. Certain landscape features such as private retaining walls are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Homeowners whose properties include these features either within or abutting the boulevard should contact the city’s Project Manager.

    Will blue box, green box, and garbage collection be affected?

    Blue box, green box, and garbage collection will continue throughout the construction process. When street access is restricted by construction operations, residents should still put their waste out in front of their homes as usual by 7:00 a.m. on their designated waste pickup day. The construction crew will move all containers to a location accessible by the waste collection service on collection days. Blue boxes and green bins will then be put back in front each residence at the end of the day. To facilitate this, please ensure that all waste is in a proper container (yard waste in paper bags, household garbage in plastic bags) and please ensure that your address is clearly marked on all containers (blue boxes and green bins).

    This standard service does not apply to properties that have private waste management companies collect their waste (e.g. apartments and commercial properties). If you receive private waste collection, please contact the city’s Project Manager to discuss options.

    Packages and deliveries

    During construction, parcel delivery is usually still possible, as the delivery service will have access to the sidewalk and/or boulevard during construction. However, not all parcel or delivery companies will deliver under all circumstances. For some parcel delivery companies, the decision of whether or not to deliver rests solely with the delivery person, based on safety considerations at the time of delivery. This can result in certain packages on the street being delivered and others not delivered on the same day, due to different safety perceptions by the employees of the delivery companies. Residents are advised to consider these factors when ordering packages for delivery.

    Residents are urged to avoid delivery of larger items (such as furniture or appliances) that would generally require access to the street and driveway, if at all possible. If residents are to receive delivery of larger items, please contact the city’s project manager in advance to confirm requirements for delivery, and whether or not access is expected to be available at that time.

    All residents who receive deliveries of critical medical supplies are asked to communicate any specific delivery needs to the city’s project manager in advance, and the field inspectors in order to coordinate the safe and efficient delivery of these supplies.

    Working from home and internet access

    Those who require internet access while working from home are advised to inform their employer of the construction, and prepare contingency plans in the event that internet access is interrupted during construction. Interruptions to internet access are rare and typically result from strikes of non-located services, meaning they typically affect only one home at a time.

    If there is an interruption to internet service please contact your internet service provider first, prior to informing the construction foreman or the engineering consultants inspector. The contractor will notify the telecom utility of the service interruption as well, however previous experience indicates that the response is faster when the customer contacts the utility directly.

  • Partial reconstruction of Herbert Street from Allen St. E to George St.

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    Please be advised that the City of Waterloo has expanded the scope of the Herbert Street reconstruction project to include the section of Herbert Street between Allen Street East and George Street. The purpose of the expanded scope is to replace and upsize the storm sewer between Allen St. E and George St. This work is required to properly increase storm sewer conveyance capacity to current standards and avoid the loss of a significant number (if not all) trees adjacent to the sidewalk on the west side of Herbert from Union to Allen.

    The reconstruction between Allen St. E and George St. involves the replacement and upsizing of the storm sewer running under the western portion of the street, service laterals (as necessary) to facilitate the storm sewer replacement, as well as replacement of surface works. This will likely result in new sidewalk, driveway aprons and curb & gutter along the west side of the street, as well as new asphalt pavement structure on much, if not all, of the roadway.

    Over the coming days and weeks, the City will complete a topographic survey, geotechnical investigation and Closed Circuit Television (“CCTV”) inspection of the sewers. The topographic survey team will need access to your property but should not interfere with your regular activities. The surveyors will identify themselves if you have any questions. The drilling crew that will perform the geotechnical investigation to assess soil and groundwater conditions will not need access to private property and will work entirely within the public right-of-way. The CCTV inspection crew may occupy lanes of the road but are not expected to close the road entirely.

    The City understands that residents, especially between Allen St. E and George St., will likely have many questions about the rationale for this additional work and disruption, so additional details are provided below:

    Why is the reconstruction of Herbert Street extending to George Street?

    During preliminary design for the reconstruction of Herbert Street between Union St. E and Allen St. E, the City’s engineering consultant noted several challenges with the design for the storm sewer. These challenges stem from the need to increase the diameter of the storm sewer to meet current design standards, and the already shallow depths of all utilities on the street.

    Increasing the diameter of the sewer (keeping the same bottom elevation) would put the top of sewer far shallower than standards permit which cause constructability issues. Lowering the storm sewer will put it in conflict with the sanitary service laterals to the homes on the west side of Herbert Street. Another alternative is to install a second sanitary sewer under the sidewalk on the west side of Herbert Street to service the homes on the west side of the street, however the proximity of the sewer to existing trees would likely require the removal of most, if not all, trees on the west side of Herbert.

    Why wasn’t this work completed in 2019 when the Region installed the new raw watermain?

    The reconstruction of Herbert Street was not within the City’s 10-year planning horizon for reconstruction when the Region installed the new raw watermain. The reconstruction of Herbert was advanced in the queue following discovery of numerous lead water service laterals to homes on Herbert Street between Allen St. E and John St.

    Why do a full road reconstruction now? Why not just replace the lead water services?

    Although Herbert Street was not within the City’s 10-year plan for reconstruction, it needs a full reconstruction according to the City’s asset management system.

    Other benefits of replacing the storm sewer between George and Allen:

    The storm sewer on Herbert, north of Allen, is undersized and in poor condition. The sewer is at a critical point, acting as a trunk in the sewer system for the area. Lowering and upsizing the sewer now will make future reconstructions elsewhere in the neighbourhood easier by providing greater potential depth for upsizing sewers further upstream in the system. The section of Herbert St. between George St. and Allen St. E has also had the sanitary sewer (1998) and watermain (2019) replaced. Replacing the storm sewer now completes the replacement of underground utilities for that section of street.

  • Survey results

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    Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey. The results are available in the Document Library.

    An engineering consultant has been retained and will be starting on the detailed design for the road reconstruction. Where technical constraints are not an issue the city and engineering consultant will use the results of the survey as a guide when making certain design decisions. We look forward to sharing design details later this summer.

  • Project notice and resident survey

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    At this time the city is in the preliminary planning stages for this project. Over the coming months we will procure an engineering consultant to do the detailed design work. In the spring residents may notice various activities occurring on the street in support of the detailed design process, such as surveyors completing a topographical survey or drillers completing a geotechnical investigation to assess soil and groundwater conditions.

    During the preliminary planning of this project, city staff have made note of several existing issues that will need further consideration during the design phase of the project. These issues include, but are not limited to:

    • Existing sidewalks do not meet minimum width requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA requires that sidewalks be a minimum 1.5 metres wide, whereas sidewalks on Herbert Street have been measured to be between 1.2 and 1.4 metres wide, depending on location. Therefore the sidewalks are required to be widened.
    • There are many mature trees on Herbert Street, some immediately adjacent to existing sidewalk and underground infrastructure. The preservation or removal of these trees will depend on the choices made during design, although it should be noted that some tree removal may be required in certain areas due to the presence of nearby underground utilities.
    • Narrow boulevards. The city has been made aware of the difficulties managing snow in winter with the current narrow boulevard. On the east side of Herbert the boulevard cannot be made any narrower as there needs to remain space for overhead utility poles. Removal of the boulevard would also make it especially challenging to construct a sidewalk that adheres to AODA and could create steep driveway ramps that lead to vehicles “bottoming out” when entering or exiting the driveway.
    • The one way nature of the street limits options for cycling without using higher stress streets such as Union. For example, those living between Union and John would be legally required to bike to and ride on Union Street in order to access Mary Allen Park or Elizabeth Ziegler School, or they would have to walk their bicycles on the sidewalk to John. The implementation of contraflow bike lanes (that allow for two-way bike traffic on one-way streets) would improve active transportation options for local residents of all ages to more easily and directly access low stress streets within their neighbourhood. It would also provide improved options for cycling between the neighbourhood and Uptown Waterloo. The implementation of contraflow bike lanes has already been raised to City staff by some local residents.

    Image showing a contraflow bike lane with a cyclist going against the flow of vehicle traffic on a one-way street.A contraflow bike lane allows cyclists to travel in both directions while vehicles can only go in one direction.

    • The road cannot be narrowed any further and still maintain on-street parking. If the road was to be narrowed in order to provide space for other aspects of the road (i.e. wider sidewalks or wider boulevards), on-street parking will need to be removed.

    When the City’s engineering consultant begins detailed design one of the first things they will need to do is determine how to allocate space for each piece of infrastructure. This process will result in making choices about what improvements can be made and what may need to be lost as result. Reconstructing the road as it is now is not an option as the widening of the sidewalk is a legal requirement. To aid the City in determining how to best redesign the street, residents can click on the “Survey” tab and fill out a survey to indicate how they value various aspects of the street. The responses will help in the decision making process.

    For reference, the following examples are provided to help residents understand some possible trade offs:

    • If on-street parking is to be preserved, a handful of mature trees would need to be removed, with several other younger trees being at risk, in order to widen the sidewalks toward the property line.
    • If the sidewalks were widened towards the street, on-street parking would need to be removed; however if on-street parking were removed we may still have space to implement contraflow bike lanes or wider boulevards, or possibly both.
    • If the sidewalks were widened towards the street and on-street parking removed, it may be possible to install a few parallel parking spots in front of Monica Place as there would be no loss of trees between the sidewalk and property line if a parking lay-by were added in that particular location.

    To aid residents in their decision making process, the City’s Forestry department has assessed the health of the trees within the publicly owned right-of-way along Herbert Street between Allen Street and Union Street. Most of the trees are in good condition, with the following noted exceptions:

    • Ash trees in front of 208, 220 and 230 Herbert St - All three trees showing signs of emerald ash borer damage or they have been cabled and will likely start showing signs soon
    • Sugar maple in front of 214 Herbert St – Has been heavily pruned to avoid overhead hydro wires. Leans towards the house with most of its weight over the house.
    • Norway maple in front of 228 Herbert St – Tree has girdling roots with an old wound and is starting to decline
    • Sugar maple in front of 231 Herbert – Tree contains lots of dead wood and is in decline.
    • Sugar Maple in front of 40 John St E – Starting to decline and has a lean towards the house
    • Sugar maple in front of 53 Allen St E – Has major cavity in trunk and very heavy lean

    The City’s forestry department has indicated that the ash trees should be removed proactively, regardless of whether or not they are to be affected by construction.

Page last updated: 29 November 2021, 16:37