Macdonell and Allan Structures Municipal Class Environmental Assessment

Project updates

The Macdonell Structures environmental assessment is ongoing.

The next touchpoint for community engagement will be a second public open house later in 2024. The City will share more information to the public of the date once it is confirmed.

Project progress

The project team has completed the following supporting studies that are required to understand the existing conditions of the Macdonell Bridge, the Allans Dam Bridge, the Allans Dam sluiceway, the Allans Dam spillway, and the Macdonell St./Wellington St. E. and Macdonell St./Arthur St. intersections:

  • Preliminary geotechnical investigation
  • Natural environment assessment
  • Cultural heritage assessments
  • Stage 1 archaeological assessment
  • Structural inspections
  • Hydraulic analysis
  • Traffic study

Following the completion of the studies of the existing conditions above, a long list of alternatives was created for each of the different structures. The long list was presented to the public via an open house on November 2, 2022.

An evaluation criterion was developed for the alternatives in conjunction with the input received at the open house and the City’s previously completed Policy/Vision documents. The long list of alternatives was then assessed against the evaluation criteria. Following the evaluation, a short list of alternatives was created. If you’re interested in viewing these supporting documents, please contact one of our project team members listed below.

About the project

The Macdonell Bridge (Structure No. 112), located on Macdonell Street over the Speed River, and known to many community members as Allan’s Bridge, is a main route for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists travelling to Downtown Guelph.

Constructed in 1963 and rehabilitated in 1988, recent inspections of the Macdonell Bridge identified the need to repair or replace the structure. Rehabilitation, improvements and modifications to the Allans Dam Bridge (Structure 131) and Allans Dam (Structure No. 320), located at the Speed River immediately south of the Macdonell Bridge are also required.

In response, and as part of the broader Downtown Infrastructure Renewal Program, the City of Guelph initiated a Municipal Class EA (Class EA) for improvements and modifications to the Macdonell and Allan structures. The study will consider options for the Macdonell Street Bridge area as a whole, including all three structures, as well as the intersections of Macdonell Street/Woolwich Street and Macdonell Street/Arthur Street North/Elizabeth Street.

The purpose of the study is to:

  • Address the structural deficiencies of the deteriorating infrastructure identified by structural inspections.
  • Address the hydraulic capacity requirements of the structures.
  • Enhance road safety, operations and connectivity for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and transit to support the community building goals of the City.
  • Improve the intersection geometrics and operations in order to enhance traffic operations and safety for all users at the Wellington / Woolwich / Macdonell intersection.

The location and approximate extent of the study area are shown on the map.


Study area is a rectangle over Macdonell Street and covers part of Woolwich Street, Rose Street and Arthur Street South

The process

The project is being completed as a Schedule “B” project in accordance with the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (October 2000, amended in 2007, 2011 and 2015).

In developing the recommendations, the study will consider technical, aesthetic and structural requirements, as well as socio-economic, cultural heritage and natural environment factors.

Community engagement

Public and technical agency consultation will be fundamental in developing the study recommendations.

Two virtual public open houses will be held during the study to share information and receive input from the public. Details, including the date, time and how to participate in each virtual public open house will be announced in a newspaper notice and posted on the Have Your Say project webpage.

One of these open houses was completed on November 2, 2022, and the next one will be held in 2024.

Resources and documents

Macdonell Short List Technical Memo

Notice of Commencement Macdonell and Allan Structures

Macdonell Long List workshop

Macdonell Public Open House

For more information

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

Steven Di Pietro, Project Engineer
Engineering and Transportation Services
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2348
[email protected]
Andrew McGregor, Senior Planner
Environmental Assessment and Approvals
R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
905-685-5049 extension 4211
[email protected]