Centre Wellington council learned on Monday that when Church Street in Elora is rebuilt later this year, there will be a roundabout on it – one that has informally been there for years.
Denis Hollands, of Triton Engineering, told council when he considered the rebuilding of that street, he realized the Knox Presbyterian Church in the middle of it at Melville Street and the road around it is a natural roundabout.
Council recently approved a roundabout for Metcalfe Street. It is the first formal roundabout in the town, but the roads have circled around the Presbyterian Church have been there for years.
Hollands said when the street is rebuilt the roundabout will become formal a one-way street with signs directing drivers which routes to take.
When the street is rebuilt, the roundabout will include triangular-shaped islands of greenspace at each street entrance, and each street will have a right turn exit and a straight through street to the left of them. He told council it will be important to educate drivers to signal their intentions so opposing traffic will know what each driver is planning to do.
The street will be redone from Geddes Street to North Queen Street, and that will include sidewalks, drainage, curbs, gutters, tree plantings and provisions for parking. The township owns some land in the square, and there will be a small parking lot at the southeast corner.
Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj noted the area is a busy one because it not only has the church and all of its activities, but also the Centre for the Arts is located to the immediate southeast of the church.
Hollands said he worked with the Presbyterian and also the United Church when planning changes for Church Street. The latter will lose about four parking spots, but at least the ones that will go in will be paved and marked. There will be some tree loss, but Hollands said other plantings will take their place.
Council considered a bylaw that would authorize Ross-Zuj and Chief Financial Officer Wes Snarr to execute an infrastructure stimulus fund contribution agreement with the federal and provincial governments. Church Street was one of three projects for which the township applied, and it was the only one granted.
The total estimated project cost is $1.33-million, with the federal and provincial governments and the township splitting costs evenly.