By Stew Slater
Having successfully diverted vehicular traffic along a stretch of Town-owned land adjacent to the Grand Trunk overpass during recent road construction on Emily Street, the Town of St. Marys is now following through on a citizen suggestion to make the pathway permanent — for pedestrians.
Meanwhile, it’s expected another piece of pedestrian infrastructure — the stairs connecting two parts of Elgin Street between Wellington and Church Streets — will soon be removed.
Town Councillors learned at their Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 16 that a pedestrian walkway will be constructed to connect the Emily Street sidewalk to Lions Park at the north end of Milt Dunnell Field. Interim Public Works Manager Jed Kelly informed councillors that the landowners immediately south of the Town-owned strip of land have been approached and have offered no objection.
During the summer, a temporary roadway was constructed on the property as a detour around Emily Street construction. Now, debris from another Town of St. Marys road reconstruction project will be used to build the new pedestrian walkway.
“Asphalt grindings” from the ongoing Queen Street East reconstruction will be used to create a granular surface for the new walkway. “A lot of people use recycled asphalt on their driveways,” Kelly told councillors.
The walkway was first suggested by neighbourhood resident Dave Baxter, during a post-Town Council question period early in the summer.
Staircase may be removed
their preliminary budget meeting on Oct. 9, meanwhile, councillors learned from CAO Kevin McLlwain that the replacement of the staircase and retaining wall on the Elgin Street road allowance — next to Knox Apartments — is the only “shovel ready” project on the town’s 2013 capital plan. That means it’s the only one that can be completed immediately, without environmental assessment or preliminary engineering work.
But Kelly advised the staircase gets very little use and presents a liability. He suggested it should instead be removed.