Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Regional Road #20 Reconstruction

Just when you thought the construction work might be over for a while, I wanted to alert you to some major work that will affect Pelham this year – the expansion of Regional Road 20 from Rice Road to Station Street.

As you will have noticed, over the last number of years the Region has been reconstructing and expanding Regional Road #20 from the 406 to Pelham Street. Because of the length of roadway, the complexity of the work, and the costs involved, the Region undertook this work in phases.

The first phases began in Pelham with the reconstruction from Sobey’s to Pelham Street. This work added a centre-turning lane and the now infamous “islands” – meant to calm traffic and beautify the Town.

(After a dozen or so drivers hit those “islands”, the Region installed flashing lights and large reflective markers; since the Niagara Regional Police charged more than half of those drivers with impaired driving, the NRP also increased R.I.D.E. checks in the area.)

In the next phases, the Region built four lanes from the 406 to Rice Road. It also realigned the intersections at Merrittville Highway and at Cataract Road (including a new traffic signal) to increase safety. This work required the purchase of several significant strips of property along the roadway and at the intersections.

The final phase will be the section from just east of Rice Road to just east of Station Street. Again, the Region purchased property in strips and at the Rice Road intersection. You may have noticed that over the last six months, crews have been relocating the hydro lines along that area.

In the fall, I was pleased to support the inclusion of $3.0 million in the Region’s 2012 capital budget and $750,000 in the Town’s 2012 capital budget.

The works will include adding a centre turning lane (where appropriate), installing a couple of new “islands” to help calm traffic and delineate turning sections, realigning the Hurricane Road intersection, and preparing for an intersection leading into the East Fonthill Secondary Plan lands (the +450 acres to the south of Regional Road #20). The Town’s money will fund the installation of a sidewalk on the north side of the road, replacing and upgrading the existing watermain, and replacing or repairing the existing sanitary sewer laterals.

Regional staff expects to issue the tender in late-February; they hope that Regional Council can award the contract for an April construction start. While the successful bidder will set the timeline, staff expects the works to take three-to-four months.