Victoria transformed into a country road, Mill Road blocked at the Bondville end, and route 243 heading south out of Knowlton and West Bolton down to one lane on and off for a big part of the summer.

By the time of the first snowfall, the road work should be all but finished.

The biggest project has been Victoria between Pine and Maple. The road has been widened to include a bicycle path with a curb running along the north side of the street. Sidewalks now run along the south side and are almost complete, with some short sections waiting to be done when the utility poles are moved. Once the poles are moved, which involves Hydro-Quebec and Bell, paving can begin.

The Victoria re-build involved installing new water lines, sewage and a water system for storm runoff. It has been disruptive for residents, but the construction workers have managed to keep as many driveways as possible open and ensured access to the Landsdowne/Benoit neighbourhood.

The Mill Road work started the last week of August and is projected to be finished by November 9 along with work on Fairholm. There will be a new bike path and a new water line installed over a one and a half kilometre stretch of Mill Road.

Gravel roads are also being redone on St. Paul, Stage Coach and Iron Hill roads. That work should be finished before the winter.

Paving of Route 243 south of the city will be finished by early October. That was a provincial government project. The others were joint projects of the town and the province. Mayor Richard Burcombe says the final cost will come in at almost $13 million.

The construction has not been without its hardships: several businesses have been hurt, including Coderre on Victoria, the Auberge Lakeview, the Marina and Chez Moi Chez Toi at the Bondville end of Mill Road. Some local residents have lost trees, including a local resident whose trees were chopped down only to find out the contractors cut the wrong trees.

By Lizette Gilday and Fred Langan