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Proposed solutions discussed at public meeting for Fenelon Falls Second Crossing

Fenelon Falls

Fenelon Falls Bridge

Kawartha Lakes – At the public meeting held on November 6, staff and the project’s consultant Dillon Consulting Limited, presented solutions to the community outlining optimal solutions to address the traffic needs occurring in the downtown area. This was the second public meeting held for the project regarding the possibility of a second crossing for Fenelon Falls. 

“We’re looking at all the possible, and more importantly, optimal solutions to address the congestion needs for the community,” commented Juan Rojas, Director of Engineering for Kawartha Lakes. “Dillon has done extensive research identifying what are the root causes of the increased traffic, including traffic studies and analyzing current road infrastructure in place.”

The meeting began with a presentation from Dillon that provided an overview of the project’s scope, looking at transportation across the bridge, outlining the key problem areas and initial concerns from the community discussed at the first public meeting back in May. Through conducting impact studies regarding factors such as traffic flow (both in-town and external) as well as environmental, staff were able to propose four potential solutions, along with their recommendations on what would serve the community best.   

Solutions recommended included a combination of a by-pass crossing in joint with in-town traffic improvements. The resolution needs to address concerns regarding transportation inside and outside of Fenelon Falls, both for current and future needs, while also considering the environmental and financial impacts.

“The technical study capturing transportation movement is great insight for the community to see where the traffic is ultimately coming from,” commented Deputy Mayor Elmslie. “The importance of identifying this key factor plays largely into the consideration of what the best solution would be, not only for the feasibility of the project, but also hearing what works best for the entire community.”  

Streetlight data implicated the majority of traffic crossing the bridge actually occurs through trips between areas within the municipality, compared to the initial discussion in May that suggested congestion stems from visitors outside Kawartha Lakes. According to Dillon, an easier approach to managing in-town delays could be handled through local intersection improvements, while an external by-pass would help with roughly 20 to 30 percent of congestion.

“It’s important to host these meetings with community members to ensure that everyone understands what the needs of the project are, including the full scope of the initial challenge and the different ways in which we’ve approached the necessary studies,” commented Merrilees Willemse, Environmental Planner for Dillon Consulting. “Hearing directly from residents lets us know the key factors they want explored and having public conversations opens up the transparency of the full project.”

Next steps require Dillon to finalize their evaluation based on the outcome of community input from the public meeting, factoring in concerns such as emergency vehicle transportation, potential land acquisition needs and ensuring the solution reflects the interests from each stakeholder within the community. A report and presentation are expected to come to Council in early 2020. 

To view the full presentation from the November 6 public meeting, visit our website. Unable to make the public meeting but have comments for the project team? Feedback will be received until November 20, 2019.

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