The City of Guelph is asking for community feedback on proposed designs for Niska Road and the bridge over the Speed River. A drop-in style open house will be held from 5 to7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 in the Kortright Presbyterian Church gymnasium at 55 Devere Drive.
City staff and consultants from R.J. Burnside and Associates Limited will be on hand to answer questions and speak with community members.
“We’ll share the results of environmental studies and the design concepts we evaluated, and discuss the preferred designs for Niska Road, the bridge and the intersection at Downey Road,” noted Don Kudo, deputy city engineer. “We hope people from the local community and beyond will come out and join us.”
Segments of Niska Road including the bridge will be improved to meet current road standards and address deterioration and increasing maintenance costs of the bridge. The bridge underwent repairs in late April to keep it in service while the City continued the environmental assessment for a permanent solution.
The first open house, held in November 2014, collected public feedback on the proposed alternatives for the road and bridge. Feedback was also collected through an online survey and meetings with a Community Working Group that included several members from the local neighbourhood. Results from all methods of feedback were combined for evaluation.
Of the options presented for the road:
– 47 per cent of respondents supported road reconstruction;
– 40 per cent supported a do–nothing approach for the road; and
– 13 per cent were in favour of repaving.
Of the options presented for the bridge:
– 34 per cent supported a new, two–lane bridge;
– 25 per cent agreed with a do–nothing approach for the bridge;
– 20 per cent wanted the bridge closed to vehicular traffic
– 18 per cent preferred replacing the existing bridge with a new, one–lane bridge; and
– 3 per cent wanted the bridge removed.
Due to the condition of the bridge, the do–nothing approach is not a viable option for consideration. Do–nothing options are always presented as part of environmental assessments.
“Guelph is a growing and vibrant city that needs a modern, efficient transportation network to ensure people’s safety when walking, cycling and driving,” said Kudo. “As Guelph’s transportation network grows, people will see changes in their neighbourhood. These changes are an inevitable part of planning, and building a growing, thriving community.”
For more information about the Niska Road environmental assessment and proposed improvements to the bridge and road, please visit guelph.ca/niskaroad.