Part of the long-planned extension of Sarnia’s Rapids Parkway is about to begin.
Council has awarded a $2.2-milion construction contract to
Inwood-based McNally Excavating Ltd. to extended the arterial road from it current end at Sandpiper Drive to a spot just north of Highway 402.
The second phase includes the Ontario Transportation Ministry rehabilitating the highway overpass, above what is currently the Howard Watson Nature Trail.
Eventually, the Rapids Parkway extension will connect to stop lights at Exmouth Street to relieve traffic pressure in the rapidly growing subdivision.
“We’ve split the project into two phases,” said David Jackson Sarnia’s manager of engineering and operations.
The $9-million road extension had been on hold while awaiting word from the ministry on the overpass, Jackson said.
“We decided to just move ahead. Then, as part of our discussions during the design phase, the MTO finally committed to doing the project,” he said.
“They have procured a consultant who is working on the design this year, and then they plan to tender it for next year, so it is a much more firmer plan from the MTO,” he added. “We’re still waiting for the full details but the best case now is that the full road would open all the way through to Exmouth in 2024.”
Extending Rapids Parkway beneath Highway 402 to Exmouth has been a contentious issue because it will require paving over a section of the nature trail.
City Hall has considered various options, which include morphing the trail into a concrete sidewalk on either side of the new road, and separating the sidewalk from the road with grass medians.