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Silver Lake construction project set to wrap-up in new year

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The completion date of a multi-million dollar construction project at Silver Lake in Waterloo Park has been pushed back further after it was supposed to be finished this past summer.

One Laurier student who has frequently visited Waterloo Park for as long as she can remember, isn’t pleased by the news.

“We do come here quite often. I came to the splash pad when I was little, and we would always come to the little Christmas fair,” said Ella Annis. “It’s been a little bit of an issue for my friends. I just because we try to take a break from our school work, and come on our walks but a lot of the park has been restricted right now.”

The three phase project at Silver Lake started up three years ago to see Laurel Creek restored, the lake cleaned out and rehabilitated and the north and south shores revitalized.

Pedestrian features are now visible in some areas, including the LRT deck expansion and boardwalk structure. But construction continues along the north shore with the goal of rehabilitating the park.

“We’re just finishing things up, but there’s a new plaza area that’s centered around a central fountain feature, new lighting, just bringing the park up to a more usable and all-inclusive space,” said Caroline Amyot, senior project engineer with the City of Waterloo.

But Amyot says construction crews dealt with some setbacks, one of which was COVID supply chain delays.

“We are planning to wrap things up hopefully before Christmas and have the fences down to open up some areas.”

In January 2022, the revitalization hit another setback after the previous contractor failed to meet the safety standards of the boardwalk building contract.

Waterloo City Council approved the budget for the project, set at over $7 million.

“The project obviously isn’t finished, and we’re still working through matters, so at this point, we’re still working towards that council approved budget,” said Amyot.

After the revitalization of the north shore, the city says their main focus for the Spring will be landscaping.

“There will be some finishing up to do in the Spring with some landscaping as well as some lighting. The main fountain feature will need to be opened up officially in the Spring, so there’s still some work to do, but it won’t require the park to be shut down,” explained Amyot.

Meantime, Annis is looking forward to the full re-opening of the park.

“I am definitely hoping so just so we can have the park for our mental health and just going on nice walks, especially as the weather gets warmer,” she said.

Fencing will remain up with no public access to the north shore until the teaming work is completed.

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