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Thursday, May 30, 2024
Region to spend $84 million on roads in NOTL in next five years
Coun. Gary Burroughs suggests the intersection of Airport and Niagara Stone Roads should be turned into a roundabout.

The region is picking up the tab for $84 million in road work over the next five years in Niagara-on-the-Lake – including a roundabout in St. Davids.

Frank Tassone, the region’s director of transportation services, presented the region’s road maintenance plans for the next five years to town council on Sept. 26.

The region is moving forward with a plan to turn the intersection of Four Mile Creek and York roads in St. Davids, currently a four-way stop, into a roundabout.

Some town councillors were displeased to hear this given the amount of negative feedback from residents on the roundabout idea.

Tassone said the region is “retaining a consultant” to design the future roundabout and will be consulting with the public on the designs.

The region is also planning a York Road facelift stretching from the future roundabout to Queenston Road, just past St. Davids Public School. 

Because of the proximity between the two sites, Tassone said the work will take place at the same time, but they are being planned as two separate projects.

Another segment of York Road stretching from the Glendale interchange to the Welland canal is due for reconstructions as well.

Tassone said that section of York Road is “in very bad condition.” 

While resurfacing the street, the region also plans to install some bicycle lanes. 

Tassone said the region needs to work with the Ministry of Transportation on this project, however, as it will be part of a larger plan to build a second skyway connecting NOTL to St. Catharines.

Another big ticket item in the five-year regional plan is already underway in Virgil.

The construction on Niagara Stone Road from Four Mile Creek Road to Line 1 is projected to be complete by the end of November, regional spokesperson Janet Rose said in an email.

“We’re getting into the final stretch on that project,” Tassone said.

But he said the region plans to chew up the next section from Line 1 to East and West Line as part of the project’s second phase. 

Rose said designs for this project would wrap up early in 2024, and that construction would hopefully begin in the “next few years.”

She gave no exact date.

Tassone said the region is budgeting for the second phase of reconstruction in its 2025 capital budget.

Prompted by questions from Coun. Wendy Cheropita, Tassone said there would be bike lanes running the length of the reconstructed street.

The region also has plans for two other intersections on Niagara Stone Road.

Intersections at Line 2 and Airport Road are now in the design phase, Tassone said.

“There’s a lot of concern that it’s just gonna be a traffic light,” Coun. Gary Burroughs said of the intersection at Airport Road. 

“It should actually be a roundabout to keep traffic moving,” he added.

Tassone said the region had studied the intersection of Niagara Stone and Airport roads and decided a roundabout was not the best option.

“The treatment that’s preferred for that location is a signal,” he said.

Airport Road, from Niagara Stone to York roads is also subject to reconstruction in the region’s five year plan.

While Tassone did not describe any specific changes to the road, he did say reconstruction on the Glendale interchange could result in increased traffic along Airport Road and the region would be investigating the need for upgrades.

The region plans to give Glendale Avenue some attention as part of another “significant project.”

Tassone said the region would repave Glendale Avenue from Homer Road to the Welland canal.

He said it would also extend a path for cyclists and walkers from Homer Road to the canal.

The Glendale Avenue bridge will be restructured and two culverts will be replaced.

“When it’s done it will really clean up the entire area,” he said.

The reconstruction will make it easier for NOTLers to access the canal trail. 

The region has smaller plans for Lakeshore Road.

Tassone said the region is designing an “off-road multi-use path” from Townline to Four Mile Creek roads.

Coun. Tim Balasiuk asked if the region would have to take land from the private property owners facing Lakeshore Road to move forward with the project.

Tassone did not have an answer for the question, but said the region intends to consult with the property owners as the project moves forward.

Balasiuk said Lakeshore is used by a lot of cyclists, is a “pretty dangerous road” and needs work “sooner than later.”

Tassone said the region will begin consulting residents on the proposed trail in the first few months of 2024.

The region considered installing bike lanes on Lakeshore Road when it last repaved it but decided not to because the road is “quite curvy” and not safe for cyclists, he said.

Two smaller projects include repaving on Townline Road (Regional Road 61), from Stanley Avenue to Four Mile Creek and some repairs to a small bridge at the bend on Line 4.

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