‘It’s my main way between St. Thomas and London’: Sunset Drive to be closed for construction until November

Commuters heading from London to Port Stanley are about to take a detour.

“It’s a big headache, you betcha”, said June Cooper who lives on Sunset Drive, which is about to close until November.

Beginning Monday, Sunset Drive south of the Gateway Roundabout to Stanley Street will be closed for construction.

“It shuts down everything, and this is my main highway to get to and from London,” said Jeremy Currie who commutes daily via Sunset Drive.

The City of St. Thomas postponed the closure until after the Canada Day long weekend, but beginning next week the road will be shutdown to remove concrete, install water mains and sanitary sewers, and build two new sewage pumping stations.

The City of St. Thomas has posted signage at both ends of the road closure and says the detour will be easy to navigate for those who have only ever traveled Sunset Drive. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)“The infrastructure work supports future growth in this city,” said Nathan Bokma, the project’s manager. “It’s the route that it needs to go and as much as it is tourism season, it is construction season as well. It’s the time that we have to do it.”

Advanced warning signs will detour drivers west on Highway 3 to John Wise Line and back to Sunset. If you miss that turn, you will end up going through the city of St. Thomas to Wilson Ave. and then back to Sunset.

Google Maps shows that it adds only an additional one to three minutes to your commute.

The minor inconvenience is good news for businesses in Port Stanley which have been hurt by various factors over the past few years.

“There’s no ideal time to be doing any kind of construction,” said Dustin Allen, chair of the Port Stanley Business Improvement Area.

“It’s something that has to be done. Hopefully getting the information out to everybody helps so that if they’re coming down to the theatre, coming down for dinner, or coming down to the beach they know we are all still here, and it’s just going to take a bit longer,” I have added.

Cole Redmond makes a putt on the VA Barrie Disc Golf Course. The course will remain open but golfers will have to enter through the south end of the construction. (Brent Lale/ CTV News London)The city said despite the road closure, those who play disc Golf at VA Barrie Park will be able to access the course. They will enter the south end of the construction through the local traffic zone and will park along the road.

“It’s a bit of an inconvenience when there is going to be a different entry point,” said Cole Redmond, a disc golfer. “Most likely, you can still play if you really want to, and there’s another course in town, but I’ll probably try to sneak away in here a few times.”

For those who have never detoured off Sunset, and always take the easy way to Port Stanley, Bokma said there should be no worries.

“It should be pretty simple, and we have lots of signage out in place,” Bokma added.

A project overview, details of the study and project contacts can all be found on the City of St. Thomas website.

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