Thank you to everyone who wrote and called in expressing their support for the Waverley underpass.
I am pleased to report there has been some real progress.
Council will spend $1.2 million for preliminary engineering, study and public consultation related to the Waverley underpass this year.
This is an important step because it makes sure that the Waverley underpass is designed right and set for funding to build it.
Funding for consultation is important — it gives you and your neighbours a chance to let the city, planners, and other levels of government know you think this project is a priority. It’s also an opportunity to make sure we do it right.
Doing it right means that the underpass is designed to fit the neighbourhood, rather than the neighbourhood being designed around a new underpass. Since Waverley is not a highway-sized regional street, it cannot be a highway-sized over or underpass.
The Kenaston Boulevard expansion and the planned Pembina underpass expansion are regional corridors and thus accommodate higher levels of traffic.
The Waverley underpass is not to be designed to carry regional traffic but to resolve the failed intersection resulting from increasing train traffic.
The Waverley underpass must accommodate our community and flow traffic around our neighbourhoods, not through them. This can be done by designing the Waverley underpass so traffic flows along Taylor Avenue (Waverley Street to Pembina Highway) rather than Grant Avenue.
If the design is right, then the study helps move the Waverley underpass to the front burner, making it a "shovel-ready" candidate when the opportunity for federal and/or provincial funding comes available.
The project will need all levels of government working together to bring it to completion. To this end, I have been meeting with other elected officials to garner support in preparation.
I continue to advocate for intersection upgrades, alternative transportation and transit improvements to decrease the negative impact associated with increasing car traffic.
We want to see the Waverley underpass built, but it needs to be done so that disruptions are kept to a minimum.
I will continue to keep you posted as we move forward. I am hopeful that we will be able to fix a date for community consultations in the fall.
In the meantime, register your support for the project by contacting the office at 204-986-5236 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org