Charlottetown's own version of the "Big Dig" has begun and like Boston's it could become something of a tourist attraction.
The City of Charlottetown has begun work on its $18-million Spring Park sewer separation project that will separate the remaining 13 kilometres of combined storm water and sanitary water pipes, but it also seems to attract tourists.
A project engineer from Island Excavators, the company doing the work on Pownal Street at the moment, said that visitors to the Island who are touring Charlottetown, happen upon the site and seem enthralled by all the good old red Island dirt being dug up. But he said the amazing thing is that they ask if they can grab a handful for a souvenir.
He wondered if they had this kind of street construction where they came from and tought they would be more interested in taking home some beach sand and not dirt that has been laying under ashphalt for years.
Another worker on the site wanted to say a big thanks to the residents of the neighborhood who have been bringing them coffee and cold drinks. He said one elderly woman daily brings them refreshments.
"There are a really bunch of friendly people in this neighbourhood," he said.
When the project wraps up in 2014, storm water will flow through one set of pipes and sewer water will flow through another — ending years of effluent spilling into the Hillsborough River when the lift station behind the Queen Charlotte Armouries is overwhelmed by heavy rain. The existing combined pipe simply can't handle the volume of water.