The report on a second South Glens access was brought to Council following a request last November by Deputy Mayor Stephen Dafoe
by Colin Smith
Residents of South Glens will get a chance to make their views known on options for the potential construction of a second access route for the neighbourhood and they may be called upon to help fund it.
Three options for a second exit route were outlined in a report by Infrastructure Services Manager Jordan Betteridge presented to Town Council at its committee of the whole meeting Tuesday.
Costs for the options range from $680,000 to $2.1 million, plus the cost of land acquisition.
Currently, the only way in or out of South Glens for vehicles is via 94 Street off Cardiff Road. The construction of the second exit has been identified as a priority for the 2023 capital budget.
With future construction in the area, the developer will add more access points to Cardiff Road and East Boundary Road, as set out in the South Business Commercial Area Structure Plan and Transportation Master Plan.
In the meantime, a second access is seen as desirable to improve community safety by ensuring effective emergency response and encouraging economic development.
The issue was raised by Deputy Mayor Stephen Dafoe in a motion passed by Council in November that directed the administration to bring forward a report on plans for a second exit out of South Glens, with a rough cost for the unpaved second exit.
After a review, the administration put forward three potential access points deemed to align with land use planning and long-term growth plans, as well as taking into account cost-effectiveness.
Betteridge told council that all options are for two-lane gravel roads, ditched and culverted, with engineering and construction costs estimated at $2.4 million per kilometre, plus land costs.
Option 1 provides public access into South Glens on 450 metres of road from Cardiff Road, aligning with a future roadway as proposed in the area structure plan. The estimated cost is $1.1 million.
Option 2 is a 280-metre road from the town-owned land industrial area to the north that would take advantage of existing public utility lots, as well as crossing private property. However, the width of the road would only allow it to be used for emergency access. The expected cost is about $680,000.
The third option would see about 880 metres of roadway from 100 Street providing public access to the neighbourhood. The cost for this option is estimated at $2.1 million.
Councillor Ray White pointed out that the road outlined in Option 1 joined 94 Avenue at the first intersection in South Glens, which would be a chokepoint.
Councillor Scott Richardson suggested finding out the views of the South Glens community on the matter with the idea of having residents pay a specialized tax to help fund emergency access construction.
“A form of community engagement to ask residents what they want and what they are wiling to pay for what they want is an excellent way to inform our upcoming budget,” responded Interim Chief Administrative Officer Michelle Hay. “It’s something we need to think about for many things besides this particular item.”
“I think that is something we should look at doing,” said Richardson. “I would hate to say Option 2 is the best and the residents of South Glens are like ‘Why the heck would those guys do that?’”
Richardson said it would be best to start looking at this as soon as possible so it can be incorporated into the 2023 budget deliberations that will begin in not too long.
Council accepted the report as information.