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Queen Street is getting a bike lane

Traffic signals will be removed at the Spring St. intersection
File photo by James Hopkin/SooToday

When the multi-year, multimillion-dollar rebuild of Queen Street is complete, there will be a bike lane on the north side of downtown's main commercial street.

"We are maintaining two lanes of traffic through Queen, basically what exists out there now," says Darrell Maahs, project manager with AECOM, an engineering/ consulting firm retained by the city.

"Obviously we realized the importance of winter snow storage along with emergency vehicle responses. So that's why the two lanes were maintained.

"There is a dedicated cycling lane that's been incorporated into the design on the north side. In order to accommodate the cycling and recognizing that we want to minimize the impacts to the boulevard areas.... we did compromise a bit on the [vehicular] travel lanes," Maahs told members of the Downtown Association at their annual general meeting.

"Now, there are 3.55-metre travel lanes which is actually a fairly wide travel lane. So we've narrowed them up a little bit to 3.3 metres so we'll be slightly narrower than what exists there now and then we're able to accommodate the bike lane on the north side.

"It does result in an overall slight widening from what you see out there now from curb to curb, but not significantly. Basically, it's going to put a foot on each side."

"Through this project, we hope to achieve enhanced accessibility to incorporate some active transportation features and to activate the downtown," said Maggie McAuley, the city's municipal services and design engineer. 

"We're hoping to modernize and enhance the downtown aesthetics," McAuley said.

"The design will hopefully provide merchants greater opportunities to activate their boulevard spaces. In general, we'll be replacing the aged and deteriorating surfaces like the road, the paving stones."

Maahs also advised that traffic signals will be removed at the Spring Street intersection.

To determine the need for signals, engineers study traffic warrants, which include vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well the number of collisions at each intersection.

"At Spring, we looked at the warrants and it wasn't warranted to maintain them so they are being removed," Maahs said.

The traffic signals at Elgin and Brock will be updated with accessible pedestrian signals.

On-street parking on the new Queen Street will be much the same as what currently exists, with many of the same parking bays.

Each block will have an accessible parking spot.

The City of Sault Ste. Mare issued a call for tenders this past Wednesday, for $6 million worth of downtown road construction planned for this year.

The application deadline is April 24.

The final contract is expected to go to city council for approval on May 13, with construction starting as soon as possible after that.

By close of business today, 10 companies had obtained copies of the bid documents:

  • Avery Construction Ltd.
  • Beamish Construction Inc.
  • Decast Ltd.
  • Drocon Inc.
  • Eco-Turf Hydroseeding Ltd.
  • GreenBlue Infrastructure Solutions
  • Innovative Traffic Solutions Inc.
  • Pioneer Construction Inc.
  • Steel Control Services Ltd.
  • Steel Speed Civil Inc.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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