ERIN – Town staff have decided two-way traffic is the way to go during roadwork for the new wastewater treatment plant.
“There was a one-way proposal but basically … the one-way proposal wasn’t viable because of the travel time to downtown” for emergency calls, engineering and infrastructure director Nick Colucci told council on Feb. 23.
The decision – focusing on safety, access and minimization of disruption – also factored in feedback from the contractor, county and an online survey aimed at business owners.
Water main relocation work is proceeding on Main Street’s south end.
“Once that water main relocate is done, they will be starting digging the pipe at the plant and working their way toward Lions Park,” Colucci said, later noting that process will take eight weeks.
Eight locations along Main Street, where shafts about four metres in diameter will be installed 10 metres deep connecting to the gravity sewer line in Erin Village, will cause some traffic disruption.
The eight locations are:
- where Main Street intersects the Elora Cataract Trailway, after Ross Street;
- Main and Lorne Streets;
- Main and Dundas;
- Main and Scotch;
- Main Street, south of Church Street;
- Main and Water;
- Main Street and Wellington Road 124; and
- Wellington Road 52.
Compounds built around the shaft locations, Colucci said, will either allow two-way traffic to be diverted around the worksite, or traffic to flow a single lane at a time, controlled by a signal.
The sizes of the worksites are being evaluated, and Colucci anticipates one or two will require signal-controlled traffic flow.
Some shaft locations and the traffic management plan have yet to receive the county’s green light. Two shafts also require approval from the Credit Valley Conservation authority (CVC).
Illuminated road signs will display construction dates “to ensure the public knows what’s going on,” Colucci told council.
Trucks will detour around Erin along Wellington Roads 124 and 52, and then along Winston Churchill Boulevard.
Along with detour signage, signs will alert people that the downtown area remains open for business.
A key concern of the Erin Chamber of Commerce and its downtown business members is the effect of ongoing road work on customers’ travel and parking.
“We will be having a marketing plan … to ensure that businesses know what’s going on,” Colucci said.
The survey says
An online survey, launched at the behest of councillor John Brennan, partly informed the town’s response to business interests.
Not all questions were answered by 62 total respondents, but staff have relied on the results nonetheless to inform decisions, such as an online dashboard providing construction updates.
A fillable contact form for concerns and feedback, specifically geared to the construction, will also be available online for anyone to access.
Concerns from Erin’s fire department about road access in emergencies trumped survey results suggesting 58 per cent of business owners preferred one-way, signal-controlled traffic flow on Main Street, compared to 42% who preferred two-way flow — the minority option chosen by the town.
“We are going to have a construction liaison committee that’s meeting next week that’s made up of a number of business owners and also community members,” Colucci said.
Last month, the Advertiser reported news of the committee, headed by councillor Cathy Aylard.
She addressed Colucci with a “laundry list” of questions about parking, timelines, bike lanes, traffic calming measures and impacts from subdivision construction.
Parking spots along Main Street will be reduced, and alternative parking locations are being worked out by the town.
In Erin Village, work is likely to span nine months, according to Colucci, who said there’s a lot of utility relocation work to accomplish.
“That’s going to be happening in the next three weeks, and then once those relocates are done then we’ll start the shafts,” he explained.
Discussed earlier in the process, bike lanes are a no-go with two-way traffic, Colucci said. However, he suggested a bike route could be established along Daniel Street to encourage people to visit downtown.
Additional traffic calming on Daniel Street, where Erin Public School is located, is also being considered.
Aylard asked how subdivision work ties into everything, and Colucci said the town must finish its work first but municipal officials are in talks with developers about getting joint work completed at the same time.
“From looking at this plan, it doesn’t bring to light the impact in front of Centre 2000 or the [Erin Legion], so those kind of things aren’t on the radar just from looking at this plan,” Aylard said, suggesting they be added.
The CVC-owned Elora Cataract Trailway, between Erin and Hillsburgh, will be closed for nine to 10 months, depending on when environmental approvals from the authority come in, Colucci revealed in response to a question from councillor Bridget Ryan.
The portion of the trailway located at the top of Daniel Street, and to the east, won’t be affected.Council Presentation - February 9 2023 - rev. 4