While our design process is proceeding smoothly and we should have full plans and cost estimates to take to the bank and to the Township very soon, there are always problems that come at you from outside. In our case, being on an island, we are dependent on the ferry that travels between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and this is the year that Ministry of Transport Ontario (MTO) have decided to put the ferry in for maintenance for 3 months from April (i.e. when the thaw starts and we are intending to start building).
I say ‘decided’ because, by the cyclical timetable, this should have happened over the winter as is it usually does, when the traffic is lighter, but the MTO (whether by accident or by design) delayed and missed the window to send the boat down to the dry dock in Hamilton. Now, instead, the ferry will be gone as the warmer weather comes in and traffic increases, and be replaced by a much smaller vessel. This will damage island businesses that depend on the extra income created by visitors, and it will no doubt cause problems for anyone trying to carry out construction projects on the island in this period, including us. The only saving grace for us is that at least we know in advance and can try to plan for the disruption, but there is a limit to what we can change: all the ‘big stuff’, i.e. slab-laying and the transport of roof and wall trusses (all of which are going to be built off-site) should take place in those first three months and that means large vehicles… we are trying to minimise such traffic, but this is the only part of the project for which it is completely unavoidable.