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Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Design
Supporting a community’s journey in making the best possible choices for an important transportation corridor.
City of Guelph
Philip Rowe, C.E.T., EP
Jennifer Vandermeer, P.Eng.
Chris Pfohl, C.E.T., EP, CAN-CISEC
Segments of Niska Road through the project corridor were nearing the end of their useful life and the single lane Niska Road Bailey Bridge that crossed the Speed River was in very poor condition and nearing the end of its life expectancy.
To remedy these issues, the City completed a Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) to determine the most appropriate improvement strategies for Niska Road from Downey Road to the City limits. R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited (Burnside) led the MCEA process on behalf of the City.
The public was very passionate about the Niska corridor from the outset of the MCEA that included the reconstruction of the bridge, road and the intersection at Niska Road and Downey Road. Many wanted to preserve as much of the original features as possible, including the single lane bridge crossing and Bailey Bridge design.
A preferred urban road and multi-use path (connecting to off-road trails popular with the community) with a two-lane Pony Truss bridge design was selected during the MCEA phase, and Burnside completed the preliminary design for the preferred solution. The preferred design addressed the community’s concerns regarding maintaining the existing Niska Road, maintaining the existing view scape, addressing wildlife fatalities through comprehensive wildlife crossings, and paying historical homage to the historical roots of bridges that have crossed this section of the Speed River in the past.
This project was named Project of the Year, Transportation Category ($2 Million – $10 Million Division) in 2021 by the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA).
I want to congratulate all the staff, volunteers, community members, consultants and contractors who worked together to deliver [this] exceptional project. We are honoured to be recognized [by the OPWA] for working together on creative solutions that protect and preserve Guelph’s unique history and cultural heritage.Jayne Holmes City of Guelph Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Infrastructure, Development, and Enterprise
Aerial view of Niska Road Project Looking South