Amherstburg cyclists and pedestrians rejoice!
Paved shoulders will soon be constructed on a stretch of Alma Street between Fryer Street and Meloche Road, shoring up a dangerous and glaring gap in the Town’s active transportation network.
I’ve referred in the past to this stretch of road as a “death-trap” because there is considerable vehicular traffic and not much room for pedestrians or cyclists on the side of the road. It is a well-traveled corridor. Pedestrians and cyclists have worn a makeshift path on the grass alongside the road.
The stretch connects with a multi-use pathway on Meloche Road that leads to the Libro Centre and it connects with the pathway on Thomas Road that leads to the Amherstburg-Essex Greenway and the pathway on Texas Road.
Completing this project will enable residents from McGregor and Anderdon to hop on the Greenway and get to the Libro or downtown almost exclusively on trails or sidewalks. Cyclists heading the other way can ultimately link up with the Herb Gray Parkway and end up in Malden Park, again, almost exclusively on trails.
I’ve been cycling a lot this summer and I try and avoid Alma as much as possible, using it pretty much only to get from Thomas to the hill on Meloche. Paved shoulders will have a tremendously positive impact. There are paved shoulders on County Road 18 and the difference between cycling on the Pike and on Alma is night and day.
The project is part of the County Wide Active Transportation System, an ever-expanding network of trails and pathways linking all seven Essex County municipalities. Under the CWATS program, the Town is responsible for 60 per cent of the costs and the County of Essex is responsible for the other 40 per cent.
My council colleagues and I unanimously awarded a $748,045 plus HST tender Monday night to Pierascenzi Construction, the lowest of three bidders on the project. Including taxes and engineering and project management costs, the total is $797,211.
The Town received a $97,260 grant from the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling program that will be put toward the project.
Construction is slated to begin in about a month.