City responds to formal requests for additional assessment of Niska Road
Regular monitoring of bridge continues:
Guelph, Ont., April 18, 2016—The City filed its response today to the Part II Order requests made to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for the Niska Road Class Environmental Assessment (EA).
A Part II Order request asks for a higher level of assessment and can be requested once the EA notice of completion has been issued. The City originally issued the notice of completion for the Niska Road EA on February 11, 2016, then extended the 30-day review period after one set of review document copies were moved to a new location. The public had until March 30 to file a Part II order request; two requests were filed with the Minister’s office.
“We’ve provided the Minister with our response to the Part II Order requests, which addresses all of the outlined concerns,” noted Kealy Dedman, City Engineer. “The Niska Road study required a Schedule B Class EA however, we voluntarily increased the assessment level to a Schedule C to ensure the concerns of the local community were heard and thoroughly studied.”
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will review the Part II Order requests and the City’s response to come to a decision. There are four possible outcomes of this review:
- refer the matter to mediation before making a decision;
- deny the request and inform the proponent and requester;
- deny the request but impose conditions; or
- require the proponent to comply with the Part II Order and prepare a terms of reference and individual environmental assessment.
“Next steps will depend on the outcome of the Ministry’s review,” said Dedman. “Once the Ministry’s decision is made, we’ll appropriately move forward as directed.”
The estimated cost to implement the recommended improvements to the road is approximately $2.1 million and bridge is $2.4 million. A total of $2,950,000 is included in the 2016 Capital Budget and Forecast. This budget was approved on December 10, 2015. The remaining estimated funds will be requested in future budgets.
Bridge condition and safety:
The City continues to monitor the safety of the bridge structure. Ongoing bridge assessments are regularly completed to observe deterioration and to determine whether any repair work is needed to maintain the bridge for safe driving conditions.
The EA was initiated in 2013 to evaluate needed improvements to the road and bridge to meet current standards, and to address the deterioration and increasing maintenance costs of the bridge. The bridge underwent repairs in late April 2015 to keep it in service while the City continued the environmental assessment for a permanent solution.
For more information about the Niska Road environmental assessment and approved improvements to the bridge and road, please visit guelph.ca/niskaroad.
For more information:
Kealy Dedman, General Manger/City Engineer
Engineering and Capital Infrastructure Services
519-822-1260 extension 2248