LONDON, ONT. -- t took over a decade of discussion, but Bayfield’s historic and iconic Main Street is getting a total reconstruction.

“Everybody had strong emotions, but we got through it, and we’re now at the point where we can go to tender, and that’s a good feeling,” says Municipality of Bluewater Mayor, Paul Klopp.

As part of a roughly $2 million reconstruction plan, Bayfield will be getting new storm sewers, sidewalks, lights, hydro lines, trees, crosswalks, and parking spots.

“One of the things that really started the whole process was the water issue, we had a lot of water ponding. And of course, as soon as you touch one thing, that leads to another and another. You can’t just do one thing and leave everything else alone,” says Bayfield Councillor, Bill Whetstone.

Heard loud and clear during the extensive public consultation, fix up Bayfield’s Main Street problems, but don’t change Bayfield, too much, because as it is, Bayfield attracts tens of thousands of tourists each summer.

“We don’t want people coming in and saying, wow look at all the change they made here. Yeah, it will be a lot of change, but it will be subtle, in your face type change. People will still like what Bayfield had to offer, which was a heritage, old school, old town feel to it,” says Whetstone.

“We need some mature trees brought in, we need accessible, permeable walkways, we need lots of green space, but still need it to look like Bayfield. So less concrete, less structured curbs, just a beautiful, natural Bayfield,” says Bayfield Chamber of Commerce Chair, Leanne Kavanaugh.

Construction is expected to begin next spring, take the summer off for the sake of businesses, and then finish the job next fall and winter.

“This is a project that we’re actually going to be intentionally, dragging out,” says Mayor Klopp.