With the ongoing development of the Hunter Gate subdivision behind No Frills grocery store, there will be a growing demand to accommodate higher-volume traffic in and around O’Brien Road.
Traffic projections predict undue congestion if O’Brien Road remains Renfrew’s only connecting link to Highway 17 in the next few years.
Therefore staff has recommended a particular collector route that, if approved, would result in an extension of Hall Avenue (where it crosses Gillan Road) through to Wrangler Road, just opposite Innovation Drive.
The collector road would continue by crossing O’Brien Road to Innovation Drive. Innovation Drive would then be connected to Whitton Road, closer to the highway. A study showed there would be a significant advantage to extending Hall Avenue as a collector road through the Hunter Gate subdivision.
Asselin says the proposed alignment is the most logical route, partly because it would go over an historic crossing that is also the narrowest route over a local ravine. However, provincial regulations still require an environmental assessment for a collector-road designation, says development and works director Mike Asselin.
At town council’s Nov. 26 meeting, the work for phases one and two of the environmental assessment were awarded to Bytown Engineering (BTE) for $50,375, plus HST, for a total of $56,923. The next closest tender totalled $67,282.
The environmental assessment starts this fall and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.
Asselin told council the environmental assessment is a mechanism to allow the town to consult with the public, to consider alternatives, and to ensure if the proposed location of the collector route is the best choice while considering environmental and social issues.
The environmental assessment process consists of five phases, starting with planning and establishment of the collector road’s alignment.
Tenders received for the entire environmental assessment in 2011 ranged from $100,000 to $190,000. Those amounts exceeded the town’s project budget at the time.
Financing for phases three, four and five of the Hall Avenue extension’s environmental assessment will have to be accommodated in future budgets. The final design and construction would take place as part of those phases.