Highway 26 Class Environmental Assessments

Highway 26 Class Environmental Assessments

Introduction

The Town of The Blue Mountains, in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the County of Grey (“road authorities”), completed a Comprehensive Transportation Strategic Plan in March 2010 (Strategic Plan). The Strategic Plan reviewed transportation challenges to addresses the short, medium and long term transportation needs for all levels of road infrastructure within the Town of The Blue Mountains and provided recommendations for future road network improvements to be implemented strategically as development growth contributes to new transportation challenges. As a result, the road authorities have identified key areas within the Highway 26 Corridor  and more broadly, in the areas of forecasted development, where improvements are required to facilitate the transportation network and address traffic congestion and safety concerns related to access to Highway 26 to meet projected increases in transportation demands as the Town of The Blue Mountains continues to grow.

The implementation of the Strategic Plan recommendations is considered under the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA). A  Municipal Class EA is the multi-phase planning process that considers the potential impacts of a municipal project on the overall environment and appropriate mitigation of impacts, before a project is implemented. The term "environment" is broadly applied to include the natural, social, cultural and economic environments, which includes the impacts to plants and animals, traffic patterns, and to residents and businesses in the community

There are currently five Studies underway related to the Highway 26 corridor. Three have been initiated by the Town of The Blue Mountains, under the Municipal Class EA process,  in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and the County of Grey. Two have been initiated by the Ministry of Transportation; one under the Ministry's provincial Class EA process, and one completed as a needs assessment. To differentiate the five studies being completed for Highway 26, this is a map which contains notes pertaining to each study - The Town of The Blue Mountains Highway 26 Corridor Studies Overview MapThe Contract Administrator for the MTO is Remy Consulting Engineers and their phone number is 905-794-2911. 

 

 

Town of The Blue Mountains Studies:

Highway 26 / Grey Road 2

Included in the area of Highway 26 and Grey Road 2 are possible improvements to the intersections of Highway 26/Grey Road 2, Grey Road 2/Clark Street, Highway 26/Lakeshore Road as well as consideration of the Georgian Trail alignment at Highway 26.

Highway 26 / Grey Road 40

Included in the area of Highway 26 and Grey Road 40 are improvements to the intersections of Highway 26/Grey Road 40, Highway 26/Lakewood Drive/Woodland Park Road, Grey Road 40/Woodland Park Road, as well as consideration of an interconnection between Woodland Park Road and the adjacent Georgian Glen development.

Highway 26 / Craigleith Area

This study will begin in early summer 2015. The study will consider the intersections along Highway 26 from Grey Road 19 to Grey Road 21 (Longpoint Road) and will consider potential transportation issues and solutions relating to the development in the area of Highway 26 between Grey Road 19 and Grey Road 21.

 

Ministry of Transportation Studies:

MTO Rehabilitation Study for the Highway 26 corridor

An environmental assessment study was initiated by MTO for Highway 26 between Thornbury to Collingwood to address the immediate and short-term (10 year) needs for the highway corridor. As a result, pavement rehabilitation to restore smoothness and re-establish highway drainage was recommended. A Public Information Centre was held on March 27, 2014. A transportation Environmental Study Report was published for an extended public review period of 45 days. During this period, stakeholders were asked to provide comments on the recommended plan prior to August 18, 2014.

All proposed works are confined to the existing Right of Way (ROW) and property acquisitions are not necessary. Temporary property access at select locations is required to undertake drainage outlet improvements. This project also includes entrance modifications/removals and removal of private encroachments in the ROW. All property owners affected by entrance removals or encroachments have been contacted. Construction is anticipated to last two years (two construction seasons). During pavement resurfacing, traffic will be managed using temporary lane closures with flagging or temporary traffic signals. The staging plans will minimize disruptions to the community and travelling public. Additional information regarding the Highway 26 rehabilitation work that is currently under construction can be obtained by contacting Charles Organ, Senior Project Manager, MTO at (519) 873-4591.

Notice of Study Completion

Lake Huron / Georgian Bay Shoreline Consultation

 

MTO Highway 26 Transportation Study, Georgian Triangle Area Needs Assessment Report

The provincial highway system that includes Highway 26 is expected to experience increasing levels of congestion due to unprecedented amounts of growth and development in an area that spans from the Township of Clearview in Simcoe County, westerly to the Town of Meaford within Grey County. As a result, a Highway 26 Transportation Needs Assessment was undertaken to provide an analysis of existing and future transportation conditions, problems and opportunities. The study identifies and evaluates a range of multi-modal solutions to address effects of the long-term increases in traffic volumes, forecasted to 20-30 years; and recommends a preferred alternative(s). The recommendations resulting from this study includes widening sections of Highway 26 and new provincial highway bypasses for Collingwood and Thornbury.

The Transportation Needs Assessment provides a context for future transportation improvements by taking a system wide approach to assessing needs and potential improvements. Each transportation project would still be subject to separate study in accordance with the Environmental Assessment process (either as a municipal or provincial Class EA, depending upon the nature of the proposed transportation improvement). Currently none of the recommended long-term improvements identified in The Highway 26 Needs Assessment Report are either scheduled to be advanced into the next phases of study, nor are any of the proposed improvements funded for construction. When these future studies become active, stakeholders will be notified and asked to provide input. 

Additional information about this project can be obtained by contacting Heather Glass, Senior Project Engineer, MTO at (416) 235-5521 or by visiting the project website at www.highway26transportationstudy.ca

 

 

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