Update on Road Works

September 8, 2008


Our Engineering Department has been busy this summer with several large road projects.  This is an update on those projects.

Victoria Road: York to Stone


The Victoria Road project, a $10.4 million reconstruction project consisting of underground services, road, bridge and intersection, was completed in July, 2008 – over two months ahead of schedule. The project included the replacement of the bridge with a four lane structure that includes sidewalks and bike lanes on each side of the bridge. All underground services within the limits of construction were replaced and a trunk watermain and a trunk sanitary sewer main were extended across the new bridge and south to Stone Road. The intersection of Victoria/York was widened to allow for dedicated turn lanes. A centre turn lane on Victoria south of the intersection was constructed and a trail on the northwest side of the bridge was extended to connect to Victoria Road. The contractor (Steed and Evans), consultant (RV Anderson) and City project engineer (Andrew Janes) were instrumental in completing this complex project ahead of schedule.


Eramosa Bridge


The Eramosa Bridge project is a $1.4 million reconstruction project. The project, which consists of complete removal and reconstruction of the bridge deck, started in mid July, 2008 and traffic was reinstated on the bridge at the end of August, 2008. Since there is still utility work to be completed, the traffic consists of one lane in each direction. By reopening the bridge to traffic at the end of August, the contractor (Belor) has completed this phase of the project ahead of schedule by approximately three weeks. The contractor, consultant (Gamsby and Mannerow) and City project engineer (Andrew Janes) have worked together to achieve the goal of minimizing the bridge closure duration and reinstating access to the downtown area.


Other Projects


Work at the Victoria and Eramosa intersection is ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed in October, 2008. The final phase of Emma Street reconstruction was completed in August 2008. Reconstruction of Arkell Road , a section of Dublin Street and a section of Speedvale Ave West all started in August, 2008 and will continue into the Fall. The ‘Annual Asphalt’ paving program is progressing throughout the City with pavement rehabilitation and new asphalt work in subdivisions that will be completed in mid October, 2008


About Karen Farbridge

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6 Comments on “Update on Road Works”

  1. Chandan Says:

    good job but much more needs to be done. Given our small size (relative) we should be the center of innovation when it comes to city roads (like small cities in europe). I think the roads department should look at new technologies, some of them include (as i have seen in western europe):

    1) Heated sidewalks/streets (using wire mesh etc) : Ive seen this in a few cities in switzerland, it saves the environment and money ny not having trucks regularly clean snow. I have seen a couple of these implementations use solar panels making it even more eco firendly.
    2) more reflective lane indicators and reflector lights:
    If you drive along hway 6 S you will see small square reflectors on lane indicators (broken white lines separating lanes) we need them in all streets in guelph.
    Also the white lines and yellow lines are just paint, in europe they actually reflect a huge amount of light, we need to buy better quality paint.
    small things that will make the city innovator and lead the way for the rest of the country

  2. Kate Says:

    Victoria Rd. South of York still badly needs to be widened to allow for bicycle traffic. That area attracts a lot of bike traffic (and some foot traffic) because it’s the direct route to the arboretum entrance and also is an area frequented by long distance bikers.

    However, because the traffic lane is just barely wide enough to fit one car, and many bikers don’t use the soft shoulder (probably because the gravel is not suitable for road tires), it’s a disaster waiting to happen. With a speed limit of 70mph, a nasty drop off from road surface to soft shoulder in places, a long hill which tends to cause bikers to weave back and forth and NO room to pass a very slow moving bike, it’s a miracle there have been no serious accidents. I’ve had some scary moments with kids swerving out into traffic, riding two abreast and without lights after twilight or cars in the opposite lane swerving out to avoid a biker. I like to cycle myself, but on a road with a 60-70 kph speed limit, you shouldn’t be sharing a single, narrow lane or having traffic passing so closely. It’s not safe for cyclists or drivers.

    What really needs to happen is for a proper bike path to be built that runs along Victoria and College St. to connect the east side to the arboretum. The path along the river is GREAT, but it’s a LONG way around to the current Arboretum entrance since you can’t cross the river until the covered bridge. Or on the east side of Victoria, which also lacks space for bikes and requires crossing at a non bike friendly location.

    I’ve pretty much given up on biking to the Arboretum because it’s just not safe – bikes aren’t supposed to be on the pavement, but there’s no room for bikes on Victoria Rd, especially going up the hill under the railway bridge. Unless you are in really good shape, you end up weaving a bit to get up the hill, and that’s really dangerous. Plus the road work crews left several massive narrow divots in the road which rattle my car badly, and must be hellish on a bike.

    College St with it’s 60kph limit is also becoming a hazard because of the profusion of walkers/joggers/bikers along the soft shoulder. Many go two-abreast which is very dangerous, and even though I usually am well below the limit, have had some scary moments with little kids swerving out into the road or joggers with IPods on, oblivious to the traffic. Often people swerve out accidentally when they look behind them for cars, which ups the risk of an accident.

    Why did they put the entrance to the Arboretum there, but NO proper walking or biking path along the road – not much common sense there especially with such a leap in the East side population. And is there some way to encourage joggers to use the paths IN the Arboretum instead of going along the roadway. Or, if it’s a safety issue at/after dusk, create a pathway just off the road for safe pedestrian/bike passage in view of the road.

    I would issue a plea to parents of little kids to avoid riding on the shoulder of roads with 60+ kph limits. All it takes is a moment of inattention for tragedy to happen. Use off road paths and walk the bikes if there’s no option or consider using a bike rack on your car to transport bikes to a safe riding location if need be. And encourage the city to continue the trend of providing safe, separate bike paths like the path alongside the river.

  3. Kate Says:

    I second the previous comment about the lane paint – on roads around here, the lane markings are really poor quality. It’s really scary trying to negotiate the Victoria/York intersection area in heavy rain because of all the lane markings which are essentially invisible. The paint isn’t reflective at all, plus some of markings were incorrectly done and never fixed.

    Chandan is certainly right about Europe, and I’ve seen well reflected lane markings in the US and other places in Canada as well.

  4. Ric Says:

    Just getting caught up on some reading and felt I needed to respond to Kate’s comments re bikes since she mentions The Arboretum. Even before the road work began on the Victoria Rd bridge staff at The Arboretum identified a need to assist bicyclists to get off of Victoria and we opened a panel in our fence about 200 metres south of the bridge. This allows all non-vehicular traffic access to the internal road system, albeit via a mown grass path at present. On this road system one can 1) continue to College and cross into the central portion of The Arboretum and then continue on to the main campus or 2) follow the road parallel to College and then cross College at The Hilton Centre continuing on to campus via this route.

    None of this road system is lit as the grounds are officially open only from dawn to dusk however it does provide an alternative route for bikes, joggers and walkers to access the City’s trail system north of the river with only a short distance on Victoria Rd.

  5. Kate Says:

    Many, many thanks to Rick for letting us know about the additional access. I will certainly make use of it as soon as my rear bike tire can hold air again!

    It’s too bad that there isn’t a clearer sign indicating access through the opened panel or publicity about the access, as I see many cyclists (most I presume are heading to the university) struggling along up Victoria. At this point the speed limit is 70kph, which makes for a very scary interface between motorised and non-motorised traffic. Is it possible to install a sign indicating pedestrian and bike access to the Arboretum at the missing panel?


  6. Jules Lierz Says:

    I recently started setting up my own solar panels – I utilized some video guides I found and it’s working out wonderful!

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