PUSLINCH ‒ Councillors are concerned about the impact of the Hanlon Expressway construction on township traffic in 2024 and 2025.
Answering questions posed at a previous council meeting, Julia Salvini, the town's traffic consultant, confirmed that the reconstruction of Concession 7, through Wellington Road 34 up to Maltby Road is anticipated to start and finish during the 2024 construction season.
In 2025, the signalled intersection at the Hanlon and Wellington Road 34 will be removed and an overpass will be built in its place.
A new roundabout is also planned for Wellington Road 34 and Concession Road 7.
"The way construction is likely to take place (in 2024) is the new (Concession 7) will be built beside the old road," said Salvini. "That allows access to be maintained to the adjacent properties and traffic flow to be maintained along Concession Road 7."
According to Salvini, there will be a diversion to move traffic coming along Wellington Road 34 along a new mid-block road which is currently under construction and connects from Wellington Road 34 to Concession Road 7.
But while she was supportive of the proposed plans, Coun. Sara Bailey asked for additional signage to provide advance residence to neighbouring residents during construction.
“I know the travelling public is curious about what’s going on," said Bailey. "If there was increased signage that lets everyone know what stage we’re at and what’s happening, I think that would be really great."
In the same vein, Coun. Russel Hurst encouraged the use of plain language communication strategy and a future open house to inform both residents and commuters of the changes to come.
“This is a very major reconstruction project and I think it's really important to communicate the work that’s being done," said Hurst. "Just in the essence that residents are well aware of the impacts on their day-to-day life both permanently and temporarily due to this."
When discussing potential alternative diversion routes, Salvini said while the most likely scenario is Concession Road 2, south of the 401, it's quite a ways away.
Mayor James Seeley also asked that staff reach out to the city of Guelph to start an ongoing conversation about the impact of their traffic on neighbouring municipalities like Puslinch.
Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.