Sarnia is funding a traffic impact study at Modeland and Wellington Road to make undeveloped land there more appealing to buyers.
The Sarnia Research & Business Park includes 86.6 hectare (214 acre) on the east side of Highway 40 (Modeland Road) south of London Line and north of Confederation Line.
The city acquired the property in 2003 and it was partially serviced in 2009.
But it has significant barriers to development, in part because Ontario’s Transportation Ministry is concerned about the capacity of the Highway 40-Wellington intersection to handle more traffic.
“We need to understand the potential costs to provide serviced land there,” said city engineer David Jackson.
“We, in theory, would want to have a shovel-ready site. We are trying to sell this land.”
The $50,000 study will help predict future traffic volumes as well as the capital investments and upgrades needed to gain MTO support.
The city has frozen buying and selling in the business park until the study is completed this fall.
Jackson said no opportunities have been missed, but at least one “current interest” is waiting for the results.
The widening of Highway 40 is Ontario’s responsibility, but minor intersection improvements are up to the city, Jackson said.
“There are long-term plans to extend Wellington Road and tie into a future residential area,” he said.
“And so this will consider, as that additional traffic comes in there, what that looks like, what certain upgrades need to take place.”
Last year, Langtree Controls Ltd. announced it was consolidating two Sarnia offices in the former Dow Recreation Centre, located near the park.
An offer by Point Edward’s Creative Education of Canada to buy five acres of the land was also announced last summer. Jackson said that deal is still being worked out.