Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wednesday: Open House on Somerset St W reconstruction

Somerset Street West is being reconstructed this year, from Wellington Street West, over the O-Train tracks, to Preston. This is essentially "Phase III" of the Wellington Street West resonstruction, to overhaul the many underground services that have outlived their useful life.

The Dalhousie Community Association (on whose board I sit, along with Eric Darwin) learned about this reconstruction at its December 2009 meeting/annual dinner, and we were rather surprised at the very short notice. All the planning would have to be compressed into a few short months, culminating in tomorrow's Public Open House. A map of the existing conditions was presented at the meeting for all to discuss.

In the months since, the Public Advisory Committee (PAC) met on a regular basis, as often as twice per week. This Committee, comprised of community and business stakeholders in the area, discussed all aspects of the street design, from lamp designs, to parking configurations, to bike lanes, to landscaping, and so on. The consultant, Ron Clarke of Delcan, and the City's Project Engineer, Max Ross, did a good job of presenting analysis from the Technical Advisory Committee and bringing the PAC to a consensus on most of the issues in a tight timeframe.

I sat on the PAC as the cycling representative, and like Eric I'm pretty satisfied with the results.

I've also got a photo album of much of the project area at my Picasa web albums. Due to time constraints and wanting to give a bit of notice before the meeting, I couldn't geo-tag them as with the Bronson consultation photos, but I did include text tags describing what's in each photo. This should help to give an idea of the project area, at least the middle section over the bridge.

To learn more about the recommendations, come to the Public Open House tomorrow, details below (and for some reason not here).

Notice of Public Open House
Somerset Street West Reconstruction

The City of Ottawa is proceeding with the design and reconstruction of a portion of Somerset Street West during the 2010 construction season. The project limits are Somerset Street West between Spadina Avenue and Preston Street, and also includes a short section of Bayswater Avenue Between Wellington Street West and Somerset Street West.

Project Overview:
The work is required to replace sewers and services that have reached the end of their useful life. The roadway and sidewalks will also be reconstructed. The designs respond to the street’s “Traditional Mainstreet” designation and its various character areas. Some of the special features include:

  • Wider sidewalks and shortened crosswalks, with distinctive surfaces
  • On-road cycling facilities including both dedicated cycling lanes and wide shared lanes
  • Street trees wherever possible
  • Opportunities for public art
You are invited:
Public Open House
Wednesday March 24, 2010
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Plant Recreation Centre, Preston Room
930 Somerset Street West (at Preston Street)

The Public Open House will provide an opportunity to review preliminary street designs and implications and to provide input. Members of the volunteer Street Design Committee, City staff and the consulting team will be available to discuss the designs and answer questions in a casual open house format. Comment forms will be provided for written comments, comments will be received until 02 April 2010. The project is being planned to meet the requirements of Ontario’s Municipal Class Environmental Assessment that may apply.

For further information contact the City’s Project Manager:
Max Ross, P. Eng.
Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Projects
Infrastructure Services Department
Design and Construction Municipal West Branch
City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Crescent, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel.: 613-580-2424 ext. 16011
Max.Ross @ ottawa.ca
The section from Preston to Booth will be reconstructed next year, and planning for that will be done over the Summer and Fall. It looks like work will not continue further East from Booth in the foreseeable future.

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