by Doreen O’Sullivan
Once upon a time, many years ago, there was an old dirt lane that ran along the old railway line from Bridge Street to County Rd 19. There was a farm and a few houses along this old lane. Very little traffic used this lane called Wellington Road.
A lovely community called Forest Creek was built off Wellington Rd. The developer added the infrastructure of sewers, water, sidewalk, and brought the base of this lane up to standard and paved it from Country Road 19 to the south end of Westerra Way. The cost of this upgrade was paid for by Westerra Homes, the developer.
Colonnade Mall was opened and continues to expand with more businesses at the corner of County Road 19 and 43. This has resulted in an increase in traffic on Wellington Road. Here are some facts about the current status of Wellington Road:
The unpaved portion of the road remains substandard (ie, does not have the base to support heavy truck/bus traffic and increased volume of traffic).
It requires grading often, even more than weekly at times. It also requires the addition of gravel materials, making it expensive in man hours and materials to maintain.
The unpaved portion at Bridge Street is a right of way on private property. The municipality does not own it.
Heavy trucks (tractor trailers with tandem loads and dump trucks), as well as school buses, now use this road as a short cut.
The Rail Line Recreation Trail runs parallel to it.
There is a high pressure natural gas line and a fibre optic cable which run parallel to Wellington Road and the Rail Trail.
The speed limit is 50 KM per hour and many drivers exceed this limit.
Wellington Road is an entirely residential road and should not be used as a thoroughfare or a truck route.
So many ask: “why don’t they just pave the rest of it?” The future proposal by the Municipality of North Grenville is: to straighten Wellington Roadd out and connect it to Parkinson Street. Then, to add the infrastructure of sewers, water, sidewalks, lighting, to upgrade the base and pave it.
Parkinson is narrow, frequently has cars parked in front of town homes, and has a large culvert over the ravine. It is residential and leads into the residential part of old town.
Bridge Street is a ‘No Truck’ route north of Wellington Rd. Why would we want to encourage traffic to use residential streets as a thoroughfare?
The budgeted estimate for this work is $1.2 million, and it is likely that this estimate is low.
In its current budget planning, the Municipality has stated that there is a significant gap between the required existing infrastructure maintenance and its resources. In times of budget restraints it makes sense to give priority to the many other streets and sidewalks in the town that need upgrading and maintenance.
The current status of Regional Road 19 is that it is paved and can support heavy truck and bus traffic. It is rated as a Truck Route. RR 19 from Hwy 43 to Van Buren only has commercial properties accessing it. The direct access to Colonnade Mall is from RR19 via Ryan’s Well Drive. It makes sense that RR19 is used as the primary route to Colonnade Mall.
A petition with over 100 signatures has been presented to the Municipality of North Grenville, asking it to close Wellington Road to through traffic, either where the pavement ends, or at Bridge Street. Failing that option we petition the municipality to make Wellington Road a “No Truck” route, reduce the speed to 40KM, and enforce it, encourage the use of RR19 and Van Buren as the primary access to Colonnade Mall, and to use them as detour routes during any closure on Hwy 43.
We are concerned residents and tax payers, and we trust that common sense will prevail and the story of Wellington Road will have a positive and equitable ending.