KITCHENER -- Preparation work to repair the failing Riverside Dam can now resume.

Council paused the project in May while the city took stock of its finances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the city said it's giving the green light to detailed design work for the repairs.

Council decided to rebuild the 150-year-old dam back in 2018 after nearly a decade of debate.

If everything goes forward as planned, construction could start in 2022 and wrap up in 2023, about a year behind the original timeframe.

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry said the city knows the old dam could be in danger of failing soon, so the clock is ticking on the project.

"The structural engineering report from a couple of years ago, we have a window of about two to 10 years to make some of the repairs to the structural integrity of the dam," she said. "We certainly don't want it to fail, so it's important to at least get some of this next phase design ready to go once we are there."

The repairs are expected to cost several million dollars. A final price will come back to council for a vote next year.