City’s Niska Road study documents available for public review

Guelph, ON, February 12, 2016—The City of Guelph has publicly issued the Niska Road improvements Notice of Completion for the Schedule ‘C’ Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) . As part of the process all the EA study documents are now available for public review by the community and regulatory agencies, including the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, for 30 days from the date of the notice.

The Environmental Study Report is online at guelph.ca/niskaroad and paper copies are available at City Hall, the Main (downtown) Branch of the Guelph Public Library, and the YMCA-YWCA near Downey Road and the Hanlon Expressway.

Written comments can be provided to the City by March 11. If concerns arise that cannot be resolved through discussion with the City, a request for an order for the project to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act can be made to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

City Council approved the staff recommendation to complete the EA process for the Niska Road reconstruction and bridge replacement on December 4, 2015. The recommended signalized intersection for Niska Road at Downey Road was not approved by Council and will not be part of the final EA study. Council requested the intersection design be re-examined in a separate study.

The EA recommendations for Niska Road and the Bailey bridge are:

  • Replace the existing one-lane Bailey bridge with a two-lane bridge, and
  • Reconstruct Niska Road from the Bailey bridge to Ptarmigan Drive with two shared–use lanes and a sidewalk on the north side.

Council further directed staff to consult with the public during the detailed design of the two–lane bridge to ensure that the final bridge design includes elements to address truck traffic and vehicle speeds. Council also approved exploring the designation of the area as a cultural heritage landscape, and the preservation of the current bridge’s superstructure with the aim of repurposing and relocating it.

The estimated cost to implement the recommended improvements to the road and bridge is approximately $4.8 million. A total of $2,950,000 is included in the 2016 Capital Budget and Forecast. This budget was approved on December 10, 2015. The remaining estimated funds will be requested in future budgets.

The EA was initiated in 2013 to evaluate needed improvements to the road and  bridge to meet current standards, and to address the deterioration and increasing maintenance costs of the bridge. The bridge underwent repairs in late April 2015 to keep it in service while the City continued the environmental assessment for a permanent solution.

For more information about the Niska Road environmental assessment and approved improvements to the bridge and road, please visit guelph.ca/niskaroad.

Media contact

Ken VanderWal P.Eng, Project Engineer
519-822-1260 extension 2319
ken.vanderwal@guelph.ca