Bridgenorth businesses don’t like County’s transportation plans
by Simon Conolly
Selwyn Council chamber’s gallery was packed with onlookers Tuesday evening as the County of Peterborough made presentations on the future of traffic control in Bridgenorth.
Presentations came from Chris Bradley, the County’s Director of Public Works; Steve Taylor, of Bytown Engineering; and Kevin Jones of Aecom.
Taylor addressed the County’s plans for rehabilitation of the James Gifford Causeway, which he said is “...currently experiencing slope failure.”
The County’s immediate concern is to stabilize the roadway, something that is planned to be accomplished within the next 10 years.
But work done on the causeway will allow for its expansion in the longer term to a four-lane roadway, with a roundabout at the intersection of Ward and Bridge Streets.
Jones addressed the plan to widen Ward St. to three lanes to the southern edge of Bridgenorth, a project he said would cost $1.8 to $2.4 million.
It would push the need for a Bridgenorth bypass into the distant future – beyond 2032 according to current growth projections.
The roundabout and the possible bypass are major concerns for the Bridgenorth Business Association.
Speaking for the BBA, Greg Milllen said the bypass is “...a very passionate topic in our community.”
The group wants the bypass completely removed from the county’s long-range plans, calling it a block to the development of new businesses in Bridgenorth.
Greg Braund suggested the County wants to keep the bypass in the plan because it could not be reintroduced under current environmental regulations.
Bradley said the reason it needs to stay is to ensure development does not occur which would interfere with the proposed route.
“We will need it in the future,” he said. “We’re obligated to look at what will be the best long-term solution.”
While the business people had nothing good to say about the roundabout, Taylor said it was judged to be the best solution to deal with traffic at the intersection. Its cost, he said, would be “...north of $1 million.”
Council received the presentations, but it will be left to County Council to make the final decisions.
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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