ELORA – Centre Wellington could see two more bridges within its borders, upping the municipality’s total to 110 bridges and culverts.
At the May 21 committee of the whole meeting, council endorsed a Transportation Master Plan that includes the consideration of a new bridge over the Grand River on the Beatty Line and another on Wellington Road 29.
Managing director of infrastructure services Colin Baker told council the bridges would improve north/south connectivity.
“The intent behind that was exactly to address congestion,” Mayor Kelly Linton said.
The Beatty Line bridge would also offer more access to the new Groves hospital in Aboyne.
“There’s a hydro corridor … at that location and so that would lead to a new crossing and a new … arterial road that would provide that link to Highway 6 to the south to the new hospital,” Baker said. “It would also provide a really speedy link from the north to the new hospital. So the Beatty Line is going to be a significant arterial road for the township for the foreseeable future.”
Before any bridge construction can take place there is additional work that needs to be done, Baker explained, including environmental assessments. However, work can be done on Beatty Line now as long as it is within the road allowance; any widening would also require an environmental assessment.
“This is not a one and done,” Baker said. “For those large projects there will be a significant EA component for those.”
Councillor Kirk McElwain said he would like to have seen a plan for a truck bypass along 2nd Line between Fergus and Elora.
“Trucks in downtown Elora are way too plentiful,” McElwain said.
“Gravel trucks driving down the main street are noisy, they’re dusty, they’re everything you don’t want in a tourist area and making 2nd Line a truck route between Fergus and Elora would alleviate an awful lot of that truck traffic.”
Baker said it would be necessary to talk to Wellington County about eliminating truck traffic in the downtowns as those are county roads. He also said the Transportation Master Plan outlines formalizing a truck route from Highway 6 to Wellington Road 7 to Wellington Road 17 and back to Highway 6.
“So that is a recommendation in the master plan … to pursue discussions with MTO on formalizing that,” Baker said.
Council also passed a resolution to direct staff to look at a three-hour parking limit on portions of streets in downtown Elora and Fergus. In Elora it would be West Mill Street and Metcalfe Street from West Mill Street to Colborne Street. In Fergus it will be along St. Andrew Street from Tower Street to St. David Street, and on Queen Street from Bridge Street to Tower Street.
Council directed staff to look into a 15-minute loading zone and parking spots in Fergus and Elora. The resolution asked that staff “report back to council with a parking implementation plan including amendments to appropriate bylaws, enforcement details and financial implications.”
Now the township can research and find solutions for the most economical and best way to enforce parking bylaws.
“Once council approves the master plan then things kick into gear and more research can be done and timelines can be communicated,” Linton said.
Councillor Neil Dunsmore asked if it is possible to get the new parking limits in place for the summer.
“I would say for implementation this summer it’s not possible,” said CAO Andy Goldie. “We have a lot of work to do with the courts and the county.” However, he said the township could look at pilot projects, for example putting up three-hour time limit signs and going on the honesty approach, until a formal plan is in place.
The Transportation Master Plan includes seven main categories: future transportation network, truck bypass, active transportation, transit, parking, traffic calming policy and complete streets policy.
Baker said the public is able to comment through ConnectCW at connectcw.ca/we-go.
“This project was an ambitious project to look at transportation in a very holistic way across Centre Wellington,” Linton said.
“An ambitious project that was looking at anything related to the movement of people and goods across Centre Wellington so it was a tough project.”