Two-way traffic to be maintained on Erin's Main Street during construction

ERIN — Two lanes of traffic will be maintained on Main Street during the construction of Erin's new wastewater system so that emergency services can access the downtown area quickly.

“Based on the input from emergency services the one way proposal wasn’t viable because of the travel time to downtown to access a fire if they had one way they’d have to go all the way around and that would add a significant amount of time so we are going with two way,” Nick Colucci, director of infrastructure services, told council.

Culucci was giving an update on where the wastewater system development is currently at to the Erin council on Thursday.

Under the one way plan, if emergency crews needed to go south on Main Street, they would need to take a detour.

Along Main Street there will be a sewer and shafts will need to be dug and constructed.

To facilitate the construction, compounds will be put up around each shaft.

“So there will be compound built and there will be traffic diversion around that. So there is a total of eight of these shafts where we will have traffic diversion,” Colucci said.

There has been ample support for two way traffic during the development.

“And based on input from emergency services and the contractor and county and also the business survey we will be maintaining two-way traffic during this construction period,” Colucci said.

At seven of the compounds there will be two-lane traffic and at one there will be two way traffic in one lane.

“And at each location we will have two way traffic either by traffic signal where there will be one lane going either way or there will be two lanes that will be diverted around the construction zone,” Colucci said.

Coun. Cathy Aylard is interested in reducing the pressure on parking space by being bike friendly.

“In past discussions we’ve discussed bike lanes. Is that still a possibility, because that would take some pressure off parking spots?” Aylard said.

Colucci explained that in going from one-way traffic to two-way traffic there has been a loss of space for bicycles on Main Street during construction.

“I think we were talking about bike lanes when we were dealing with a one way. Where a contra bike lane so it was one lane north, we’d have a southbound bike lane.

“But with two way, it might be difficult to add an extra bike lane just because of the traffic, it will be taking up all that,” Colucci said.

He is still trying to incorporate bicycle access to downtown Erin.

“But there is a possibility to have a bike road on Daniel Street that brings people to downtown,” Colucci said.

Coun. Jamie Cheyne asked when this work will start.

“Is there any way of knowing when segments are going to start?” Cheyne said.

Colucci said that some of the work is actually starting now, the locating of utilities, which is expected to take eight weeks.

“They’re starting on the locates now, the utility locates then they’ll be starting on the pipes. So that’s actually already started and it’s about eight week construction period,” Colucci said.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

Jesse Gault, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,