Rapids Parkway Extension
On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, a public information session was held to provide information on future capital projects planned for the area of the Rapids Parkway Extension from the existing end to Exmouth Street.
As the area around the Rapids Parkway continues to expand, the municipal infrastructure needs to be extended, in order to service this growth. Two phases of work are planned for this area:
This phase involves extending the existing watermain from the current dead-end (at the end of The Rapids Parkway), extending underneath Highway 402, connecting to the existing watermain on Quinn Drive. This will provide redundancy in the system and enhance water quality. The sanitary forcemain will also be rerouted from the pumping station beside St. Anne’s school to Exmouth Street to eliminate the need to complete pumping station upgrades downstream.
Next step: Complete Environmental Assessment including public information session.
Phase 2 (TBD) – Extension of The Rapids Parkway Under Highway 402 to Exmouth Street
The existing road network does not have capacity to accommodate the full build out of this area. The extension of the road under Highway 402 has been planned from the start of this development and is identified in the City’s Official Plan. In addition, to providing capacity for traffic in the immediate area, the extension will also help alleviate some of the traffic problems that currently exist in the area of Lambton Mall Road, Quinn Drive, and Barclay Drive. This phase is planned in coordination with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and their rehabilitation work on their bridge which is anticipated to occur within the next five years. Exact timing will depend on the MTO’s schedule and the level of development that occurs in this area.
Next step: Monitor rate of development and confirm Ministry of Transportation bridge rehabilitation timing.
How Will the Project Impact the Howard Watson Trail?
The Howard Watson Trail is an important asset for the City and every effort will be made to ensure that the impact of the two projects on the trail is minimized to the extent possible.
In phase 1, construction equipment will be working in the vicinity of the trail to install the watermain and sanitary forcemain. The trail may be temporarily rerouted during portions of this project but will be restored after the work is completed. Brush clearing and some tree removals along the new watermain and sanitary forcemain alignment will be required.
In phase 2, in order to accommodate the road extension, the trail will be permanently shifted to the west. A buffer will be maintained between the road and the trail except at the immediate location of the Highway 402 overpass and at Exmouth Street. The project will include traffic signals at the new intersection of The Rapids Parkway and Exmouth Street that will provide a safe crossing of Exmouth Street for trail users. A rest area and other minor trail enhancements will also be included.
Draft options for the trail are shown below. The final design for the trail location under highway 402 will need to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation. Option B, with the trail on the opposite side of the bridge columns, was the preferred option selected by participants at the public information session.