Edward truck tunnel study proof good ideas never grow
By Fred Sherwin
the powers that be are finally going to take a serious
look at building a tunnel under King Edward Avenue to
get rid of the trucks downtown. Hallelujah.
the risk if straining my arm to pat myself on the back,
this is something that I have been calling for since October
2009, but as my grandfather used to say good ideas never
thought of using a tunnel to get rid of the heavy trucks
using King Edward, Rideau and Nicholas Streets actually
dates back to the King
Edward Avenue Renewal Planning and Environmental Study
conducted in the two years following amalgamation.
study looked at a number of options to ease traffic on
King Edward including five possible tunnel options. They
were all rejected for the most part because it was assumed
the city would have to pick up the entire cost.
tunnel was also briefly considered in the very early stages
of the Interprovincial Crossings study, but it was dismissed
on the faulty assumption that the southern portal would
have to be built on the north side of Laurier Avenue.
As a result it would have a negative impact on the intersection
at Nicholas and Laurier both in terms of vehicular traffic
as well as pedestrian and bicycle circulation.
consultants were also concerned about having two northound
lanes coming out of the tunnel and combining with traffic
on King Edward to merge onto the MacDonald-Cartier bridge
which currently has three lanes in both directions. However,
this assumes that the tunnel would have four lanes. If
you restrict the tunnel to truck traffic only you could
get away with two lanes, or at the very least have a third
lane for emergencies.
current option which will be studied at a cost of $2.5
million calls for a tunnel to be dug under King Edward
Avenue from Lees Avenue to just before the MacDonald-Cartier
Bridge. This makes all the sense in the world because
A) it would get rid of the trucks and B) it will get rid
of the trucks.
for the cost, Mayor Watson is in complete agreement with
what I wrote in 2009 when I suggested the tunnel could
be paid for by the trucking industry through the use of
I wrote my column back in 2009, it was with the hope that
the tunnel option might be included in Phase 2 of the
Interprovincial Crossings Study. It was not, much to my
chagrin, and for the next four years the consultants proceeded
down a path that was doomed from the outset and a colossal
waste of money.
hope this next study will be the last.
8:30 a.m., Aug. 27)
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