Carleton Place council held a special session of its committee of the whole on Dec 10th with only one item on the agenda; the Bridge St. Reconstruction. As part of planned public consultations, the engineering and design firm RV Anderson Associates Limited’s David O’Sullivan provided council and the gallery with a detailed presentation on suggested changes to Bridge St, between the river and Lake Ave.
The project would take advantage of Bridge St’s closing in 2021 (to facilitate the replacement of the central bridge) to undertake a complete redesign of road and sidewalks along with major landscaping renewals. O’Sullivan briefly commented on the bridge replacement project and focused most of his coverage on the business district overhaul. He noted that a working group of council members, town staff, and BIA and Chamber of Commerce reps had been established and that their input along with public responses from two meeting held earlier this year helped to create the suggested plans. He stressed that the details and proposals included in his presentation were “just starting points” and that “stakeholder consultations were just beginning”.
The designs outlined included new sidewalks, pavement, street-lighting, pedestrian cross-walks, street furniture such as benches, waste-cans, and bike racks, new trees and planter boxes as well as other custom landscape features. The report also included new signalized pedestrian crossings in addition to improving the 2 cross-walks already in place with a likely move to make all of them fully controlled and legally mandated instead of the courtesy system currently being used.
The estimate price tag for the work came in a $2.1M up from the preliminary $1.44M design that council approved to go to full consultation by a motion passed in June of this year. The major causes cited for the increase were material expenses going up and the addition of new traffic signals.
There we no concerns expressed by council members with any of the proposed details of the project but councilor Andrew Tennant asked about how extending the project over several phases (in an move to lessen the price-tag impact) would affect efficiencies. He explained it was a question he faces regularly in his own business. O’Sullivan and a RV Anderson VP in attendance, Nick Palomba, both responded that they would be concerned about the impact of several major Bridge St construction projects on local businesses and residents compared to one single event taking place in one construction season in 2021.
In the end the item was forwarded to the council meeting on Dec 17 for more discussion with another public meeting for feedback planned for January of 2020.