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Yonge Street to 10th Sideroad
Improving a popular corridor known as the 'Tunnel of Trees.'
Town of Innisfil
Deanna De Forest, B.Sc., EP
Drew Davidge, P.Eng.
Kevin Butt, B.Sc. (Env.) Rest Cert, TRAQ
Kristina Zeromskiene, Ph.D., LEL
The Town of Innisfil retained Burnside to complete a Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) for future road improvements to 7th Line between 10th Sideroad and Yonge Street. Design alternatives considered constraints associated with existing residential land uses, a cultural heritage landscape feature, a provincially significant wetland and adjacent natural habitat features including habitat for Species at Risk, fish habitat in adjacent watercourses and crossings, and treed areas that encroached upon the right-of-way.
One of the key challenges of the project was balancing the need for safe road conditions for local residents and the use of the road as part of the broader road network, with the presence of trees which overhang part of the road, locally known as the ‘Tunnel of Trees’ and appreciated for their scenic appeal.
The consultation process included two Public Open Houses, the development of a Technical Advisory Committee consisting of agencies with an interest in the project, designated stakeholder meetings with residents of 7th Line, as well as an online open forum on the Town’s website where residents and the public contributed comments and discussed the project.
The Town, regulatory agencies, Indigenous communities, and interested citizens were consulted to ensure regulatory compliance and to maintain a transparent assessment process. Study results and consultations were used to evaluate and select the preferred alternative solution. Mitigation measures were established based on potential impacts.
The preferred solution was to reconstruct the road as a two-lane road, widen the road to meet minimum standard lane widths, and add paved shoulders. Road profiles and cross-sections were considered that would minimize impacts to adjacent property and natural features by limiting side slopes and utilizing guide rails.