MORRISBURG – Well over 100 people turned out to a public open house meeting March 7 to view the proposed Morrisburg street-scape plan.
What struck chief administrative officer Shannon Geraghty most, was that not only was there a great turn out, but that so many people took the time to sit down and fill out the comment sheets available and provide input to the project officials.
“It was a good crowd,” commented South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds following the meeting.
“A lot of positive comments were heard. There was a lot of feedback that will be taken into account.”
Anyone who did not attend the meeting, is still able to access the entire presentation online and provide comments and feedback.
The design boards and comment sheets are also available at the South Dundas Municipal Centre.
The public comment period will remain open for two weeks.
Reflecting on the March 7 meeting, overall, feedback, according the Ben deHaan, director of transportation and planning for the United Counties of SDG, was generally positive and people shared a lot of really thoughtful comments on the plan they were seeing.
Not everyone loved the roundabout which is at the centre of the design, but as people become more used to roundabouts in the area, including those in Long Sault and Iroquois, they are becoming more accepted.
What people saw in the plan that they were most positive about were the proposed sidewalks along both sides of the street and the addition of signalized crossing which, when activated, would require cars to stop for pedestrians.
There was significant feedback about the locations of the proposed crosswalks, with many citizens making suggestions about alternative locations where they would better serve the existing pedestrian traffic.
deHaan, in a presentation to council prior to the open house, spoke to them about the plan and how it addresses concerns that the Counties roads department has about traffic flow through the one kilometre Morrisburg corridor.
He said that the proposed Morrisburg roundabout, will be most like the Iroquois roundabout in size, but have more of the street-scaping style of the Long Sault roundabouts.
The difference here is that businesses are accessing the road from both sides which presents its own set of challenges: but SDG officials are making a concerted effort to talk to the effected business to discuss the proposed changes that will have an impact on them..
A number of entrance changes have been proposed in the plan and those changes to meet provincial standards are for safety, deHaan, explained.
One of the most accident-prone entrances in the area is the west entrance to the MacEwen/McDonalds property, and changes to that area have been proposed in the plan.
People looking at the design, often looked for changes at that intersection and were happy to see issues will be addressed.
Ideally, deHaan would like to have this design completed and tender-ready by summer.
“That doesn’t mean we are actually going to tender this summer,” he said, but he would like to be ready should any funding opportunities become available.
In the absence of funding opportunities, deHaan plans to start budgeting for the project at the county level in 2020 by setting aside allocations for the next two to three years.
Realistically, the street-scape project will not start until at least 2021.
deHaan’s best estimate on the cost of the project is between $1.5 million and $2 million.