Two roundabouts recommended in Wellington Road 124 re-design

GUELPH – Wellington County has issued a notice of completion for a Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) study on a redesign of Wellington Road 124 between Guelph-Eramosa Township Road 1 and Fife Road.

If no objections result from a mandatory 30-day public review period, the county will obtain detailed designs for the recommended option.

The purpose of the Class EA study was to address existing traffic-carrying deficiencies, plan for future growth, address the existing pavement condition and provide safe public access, states a report from county engineer Don Kudo.

In January 1998, the province transferred a portion of Highway 24 from north of Cambridge to west of Caledon to the county and it became Wellington Road 124.

The Guelph Wellington Transportation Study completed in 2005 identified a need to realign and upgrade the road as a divided, four lane expressway in agreement with the recommendations of an Environmental Assessment study completed by the Ministry of Transportation prior to the transfer of the road.

However, due to the cost estimate of well over $50 million, the county was not in a position to proceed without significant support from upper levels of government.

The county initiated a  Class EA for a redesign in 2018. The recommended design for the project includes:

– two new roundabouts at the intersections with Wellington Road 32 North and Wellington Road 32 South;

– all other existing intersections will remain the same with modifications to turn lanes as required;

– a 20-metre right-of-way (except in areas where additional property is required for turn lanes or roundabouts);

– required road widening for the three- and four-lane sections and roundabout construction, will be to the south and require no modifications or relocations to the existing Hydro One towers and transmission lines;

– four lanes between the two roundabouts;

– paved shoulder and paved area behind the curb and gutter to accommodate disabled vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians;

– raised median between the two roundabouts; and

– storm sewers installed in the urban cross section areas.

The total project cost is estimated to be almost $16 million.

Roads committee chair councillor Andy Lennox told council the preferred alternative of a two-roundabout design “will reposition the intersections a little bit, which will require the acquisition of land from private landowners.”

Landowner concerns

He pointed out there was a delegation representing one of the potentially impacted landowners at the Nov. 12 committee meeting advocating for “minimal disruption” to potential uses of their property.

“I think the solution presented does try to minimize it. Yes, it will be disruptive to that one particular landowner, but there’s significant efforts to try to minimize that,” said Lennox.

“I think what we’re looking for here is for the county to continue moving forward with this option.”

Council approved a roads committee recommendation to authorize staff to issue the Municipal Class EA notice of completion and proceed to the public review period, and, upon completion of the review period, proceed with the detailed design of the recommended design.