Graffiti and Lighting updates for Weber St Construction

The MHBPNA has been an active participant in the Weber Street construction for the past couple of years. We have posted articles on the pedestrian cross walk at Wilhelm we argued for in front of regional council and which is now being installed.

We have also lobbied for the LED lighting under the bridge to continue all the way to the Spur Line trial which will also have LED lights. For the past two and a half years the region and city have said “no”. It was planned that the city would keep the original lights even though the overall 5 year plan is to go to LED. However, now that plan has changed and it is entirely because of our relentless lobbying!  (see below)

Graffiti: Two and a half years ago, when we first saw the plans for the Weber St widening, before a shovel was in the ground, we identified graffiti as an issue. It was not hard to understand the region was building a huge potential canvas. We suggested that they grow vines up the noise barrier walls but were met with opposition. We also suggested the grow something on the retaining wall in front of the big brown building close to Louisa and Weber but they paved over that area and prevented anything being planted.  We then suggested concrete planters which were not approved. We are now working with the owner of Xtreme Motors to paint something big on the wall.

We do have some good news. Here is a short update on graffiti and lighting planes from Peter Linn who is a senior transportation project manager with the Region of Waterloo.

Just an update on the graffiti – the concrete walls at the new bridge will be sandblasted on Monday April 20. The anti-graffiti coating can’t be applied until the first week of May when we can be sure that the temperature will stay above freezing. We may have to sandblast the walls again before then. The supplier for the noise walls has provided color-matched paint for the walls since the walls can’t be sandblasted. The walls will be painted in the next week or so. In addition, we will be planting vines in front of the walls which will eventually climb the walls to discourage further graffiti. Our contractor will be experimenting with a dry-ice blasting method on the steel bridge girders to see how effective it is in removing the graffiti. Apparently this method has worked in several locations in the States.

Also, we have received direction to switch the streetlight bulbs on the existing streetlights on Weber Street between Wellington Street and Wilhelm Street from high pressure sodium to LED. We are currently working with Kitchener Hydro on the technical details of this change-over. This will unify the LED light levels north of Victoria all the way to Wilhelm Street to tie-in with the proposed LED lights on the Spur Line Trail.

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