Earl to Emma street bridge will improve connections to downtown for people walking and biking

Proposed bridge to be discussed at Council September 8

Guelph, Ont., August 27, 2020 – On September 8, City Council will discuss a proposed pedestrian bridge connecting Emma and Earl Streets over the Speed River.

The City started an environmental assessment in 2016 to determine the need for and recommended style of a pedestrian bridge. Based on the study and community feedback, the City is recommending a steel bridge from the west end of Emma Street to the east end of Earl Street.

“Right now, people walking and biking have a long way to go to cross the Speed River in some areas— it’s almost two kilometres from the crossing over the river at Speedvale Avenue to the Norwich Street footbridge near Eramosa Road,” explains Terry Gayman, City Engineer and general manager of Engineering and Transportation Services. “A footbridge between Emma and Earl streets will connect two residential neighbourhoods and give more people better access to the Downtown and TransCanada trails.”

Five alternatives and a “do nothing” option were evaluated as part of the environmental assessment for the pedestrian bridge. The City’s evaluation considered existing policies, community feedback, technical aspects, environmental impacts and cost.

The proposed bridge would be built in the existing hydro corridor to reduce environmental impacts to the Natural Heritage System.

“The pedestrian bridge we’re recommending ensures transportation connections, public safety and protection of the natural environment,” adds Gayman.

Members of the public can register as a delegate or submit written comments about the proposed pedestrian bridge by contacting the City Clerk’s office at 519-837-5603 or [email protected] by 10 a.m. on Friday, September 4.

If approved by Council, staff will complete the Schedule ‘B’ Municipal Class EA process by issuing a notice of completion to place the Environmental Study Report on the public record for a 30-day review period, and start detailed design of the bridge.

The cost to design and construct the bridge is estimated at $1.7 million and would be approved in a future budget.

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Media contact

Terry Gayman, General Manager/City Engineer
Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2369
[email protected]