It looks like Waterloo Region Council will be rolling back the lanes on the Stage 2 ION road in Cambridge.
The regional council voted unanimously on August 9 to reassess the location of the south terminal on Bruce Street – the last stop of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line – after learning of “new information that was not not known in 2018,” according to a regional staff report.
The report noted that now that the region has experience operating the LRT system, it has realized three shortcomings with the Bruce Street terminal.
The first is that the geometry of the Bruce Street track has operational drawbacks that have now been realized since the construction of Stage 1 of the ION. Second, the design of the Bruce Street terminal station has been further developed and will have greater impacts on properties in the area. And third, there is no room for additional storage for a broken down train at the South Terminal, which was not identified four years ago.
The report also noted that additional benefits were discovered by having the possible stop at the Ainslie Street bus terminal.
It is not mentioned in the report that the Main Street terminal stop will be affected by a Bruce Street location change.
‘I really like the idea of staff taking into consideration the effects the shorter route has on the business community as well as the public,’ the Cambridge regional councilor said. Karl Kieffer.
“I know some lessons were learned from Stage 1 of the LRT process and can be applied to Stage 2. Hopefully this won’t slow down the construction schedule. »
Cambridge Regional Council. Helen Jowett reiterated Kiefer’s praise of staff applying their experience from the initial phase of ION to ensure any issues are resolved before going to government for money.
“This adaptation promotes effectiveness and efficiency, which will perpetuate a better and improved business case as we approach other levels of government for financial support,” Jowett said.
Creating a strategy to obtain this government funding was also part of the report to the board. Staff will now be responsible for implementing this strategy in 2023 prior to the business case.
The report stated, “The project team is currently preparing new project cost estimates for design, construction, vehicles, operations, maintenance, rehabilitation, financing and cost escalation.
Staff will present the project strategy and costs to council in early 2023. The business case is expected to be submitted to the Department of Transportation in late 2023.
Under the region’s Rapid Transit Capital Program, a budget of $1.95 million has been set aside for 2022. To date, the region has spent $338,600 of that budget.
The report indicates that the budget is sufficient to support the reassessment process at a cost of $100,000.
“I just want to stress that I think this is the result of very thoughtful consultations and conversations with some of the business interests in the wider Cambridge community and I commend the staff for taking this slight wrinkle into Phase 2,” said regional chair Karen Redman. at the planning committee meeting.
STORY BEHIND THE STORY: The region decided to go back and look at Stage 2 of the ION route, which was due to end on Bruce Street in Cambridge. This location may not be as advantageous as expected.