Niska Road Class EA Public Information Centre: November 27, 2014

Notice of Public Information Centre #1
Municipal Class Environmental Assessment study

Niska Road Improvements from the City Limits at the Speed River to the Downey Road Intersection

The study

niska

The City of Guelph (City) is undertaking a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study to investigate opportunities for improvements to Niska Road from the City limits to Downey Road.

Segments of the roadway and the bridge over the Speed River are nearing the end of their useful life and require a solution to address their deterioration and increasing maintenance costs. In addition to reviewing several alternative solutions for the road, improvements to the Downey Road intersection, and impacts to the environment and community road safety issues, a range of alternative bridge solutions have been examined. The approximate extent of the Study Area is shown on the map.

The process

The Environmental Assessment is being conducted as a Schedule C Project in accordance with the “Municipal Class Environmental Assessment” (Municipal Engineers Association, October 2000, as amended in 2007 and 2011) which is an approved process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. The Class EA process includes public, stakeholder and review agency consultation; an evaluation of alternative solutions to address the problem; alternative design concepts for the preferred solution; an assessment of potential environmental effects of the proposed improvements; and identification of reasonable measures to mitigate any potential adverse impacts.

Study update

In order to enhance public involvement in the study process, the City convened a Community Working Group (CWG) which consisted of 13 members from the community. The CWG and the study team, which includes representatives from the City and the consultant team, met to discuss all aspects of the study including but not limited to the natural environment, community safety, community heritage, transportation and traffic, fiscal responsibility, and impacts and mitigation measures of alternative solutions. The City obtained input from the CWG at six meetings.

The following alternative solutions were identified and evaluated for the road:

  1. Do nothing but maintain road in a “good state of repair”;
  2. Repave road; and,
  3. Reconstruct road.

The following alternative solutions were identified and evaluated for the bridge:

  1. Do nothing but rehabilitate existing bridge and maintain it in a “good state of repair”;
  2. Close bridge to vehicular traffic but maintain bridge to accommodate pedestrian and cyclist traffic;
  3. Remove bridge and do not replace existing bridge (involves converting Niska Road to a local residential street and would cut-off all direct access to the west across the Speed River);
  4. Replace existing Bailey bridge with a New One-Lane bridge; and,
  5. Replace existing Bailey bridge with a New Two-Lane bridge.

A detailed evaluation of each alternative solution was completed with input from the CWG and City staff based on four major criteria: natural environment; socio-economic/cultural environment; financial factors; and technical factors. The study team reviewed input and feedback provided by the CWG and review agencies. Following the evaluation, the preliminary preferred solutions being put forward by the study team are: Reconstruct road and Replace existing Bailey bridge with a New Two-Lane bridge .

Opportunity to participate

The first of two Public Information Centres (PICs) will present the study’s problem/opportunity statement, results of environmental and technical studies, the alternative solutions considered for the road and bridge, and the preliminary preferred solutions (noted above) as determined by the study team.

Thursday November 27, 2014
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Kortright Presbyterian Church Gymnasium (this location is wheelchair-accessible)
55 Devere Drive, Guelph

For more information

Please contact either one of our study team members if you have questions, comments or would like to be added to the project mailing list.

Brad Hamilton, P. Eng.
City Project Engineer
City of Guelph
1 Carden Street
Guelph ON N1H 3A1
519-822-1260 extension 2319
brad.hamilton@guelph.ca

Leonard Rach, P. Eng.
Consultant Project Manager
R. J. Burnside & Associates Limited
15 Townline
Orangeville ON L9W 3R4
1-800-265-9662 extension 3043
leonard.rach@rjburnside.com

Information will be collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record and published with the final Environmental Study Report.

(This notice first issued November 13, 2014)