Pedestrian crossing planned for Durham-McNab intersection in Walkerton

·3 min read

BRUCE COUNTY – The Durham-McNab Street intersection in Walkerton is busy and dangerous. There have been several collisions and near-misses in recent years.

The intersection has several streams of vehicle traffic using turning lanes and the Tim Hortons drive-thru entrance, plus substantial numbers of pedestrians crossing the roads from a nearby high school, places of business and adjacent residential areas.

The county has looked at the intersection and outlined a number of possible measures to make it safer.

However, the county hesitates to invest much money in changes at this time since the bridge over the Saugeen River is scheduled for replacement.

According to Jim Donahoe, engineering manager for the county, one change that comes with a modest cost and the probability of a positive impact is the creation of a pedestrian crossing. As stated in the report to the transportation and environmental services committee on Oct. 21, “This recommendation is the most critical from a public safety perspective and will not conflict with the upcoming Durham Street bridge replacement.”

Staff recommended transferring $25,300 to the capital projects budget, to allow for preparation of the pedestrian crossing design to be prepared in 2021.

A quote has been secured from Moon Matz for the design, which can be completed by the end of the year to allow tendering in January 2022.

The committee also discussed the closure of the Arran Township Shed Bridge at Invermay.

A number of possibilities have been looked at, including transforming the bridge into a pedestrian/bicycle bridge, repairing it, or removing it. The municipality has made it clear it does not want to take ownership of the existing bridge, or one converted to pedestrian use.

That leaves the county with one logical option – removing it.

Miguel Pelletier, director of transportation and environmental services, said, “We are looking to reduce our portfolio (of infrastructure that’s expensive to maintain and replace) and recommend keeping the bridge closed and eventually demolishing it. How or when to remove it hasn’t been decided.”

That will be done in consultation with Arran-Elderslie, he said, but it won’t likely happen for a good five years unless it becomes dangerous.

County Coun. Steve Hammell, Arran-Elderslie, confirmed, “We (the municipality) do not want another bridge.”

Donahoe presented a project update on a bridge that is going to be replaced, at considerable cost – the one over the Teeswater River in Paisley.

Plans include putting up a temporary bridge, since it is on a main road, with few options for a detour.

The report involved a cost-sharing agreement with Arran-Elderslie for road and sewer work north of the bridge.

The budget for the bridge replacement is $6 million in 2022, $4 million in 2023 and $500,000 in 2024. The total budget moving forward is $10.5 million.

Pelletier commented on one additional information item on the agenda – the Huron-Kinloss golf cart pilot project.

The 10-year pilot will allow the use of golf carts on certain municipal roads in Huron-Kinloss. Pelletier confirmed this does not include county roads. Golf carts will be able to cross county roads but will not be able to travel on them.

He said the public may not be aware that operating a golf cart on a county road is illegal, and is developing a plan for additional signs and markings on county roads. The county has also advised the local OPP that county roads are not part of the pilot project and golf carts should not be on these roads.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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