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Goverments celebrate co-operation to get road work completed

Cutting the ribbon celebrating the completion of the County Road 3 (Rednersville Road) project are from left: councillor Roy Pennell, Prince Edward County engineer Joe Angelo, councillors Barry Turpin, Steve Ferguson and Janice Maynard; MP Neil Ellis, Mayor Robert Quaiff, MPP Todd Smith, councillor Dianne O’Brien, Commissioner of Engineering, Development and Works Robert McAuley and CAO James Hepburn.

Improvements to County Road 3 officially ended today with a ribbon cutting ceremony by all three levels of government.

Joining Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff for the ceremony at Fire Station 5 in Rossmore were Neil Ellis, MP for Bay of Quinte, and Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, along with County council and staff members.

“We are grateful to receive support from the federal and provincial governments for this important rehabilitation project,” Quaiff said. “Maintaining local roads is essential for promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in Prince Edward County. The improvements will ensure the continued safe flow of traffic and support active modes of transportation, which is a priority for our municipality.”

The rehabilitation work included new asphalt for about 5.6 kilometers of the road, referred to as Rednersville Road, between County Road 28 (Reddick Street) in Rossmore and slightly beyond County Road 23 near Rednersville. The project occurred in two phases over 2016 and 2017 and also included pavement widening for bicycle lanes and installation of new storm sewers and other drainage improvements.

The County successfully applied to the Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund to receive $6,241,280, the maximum funding available through the fund toward the total net eligible project cost of $9,361,920.

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  1. Steve Staniek says:

    Rob – If monies raised from “Bicycle Permits” are actually used to provide safer conditions for cycling, like wider shoulders and protected walkways on bridges, then a ‘User Pay’ system makes sense that I think most people will support.
    The cost of government facilities should be borne in part by users, and this policy can be extended to tourists and commercial/industrial traffic that uses the Skyway Bridge. A bridge toll or fee could raise part of the 200 million required to construct a new bridge deck with a protected walkway that will manage and reduce the bridge risks to an acceptable level for the next 50 years. Some commercial carriers may protest by claiming that they already pay large licensing fees, but those operating costs are tax deductible for them.

  2. Rob says:

    If only cyclists had long been paying fifteen or twenty bucks a year for a permit to affix to their bike. Not only would they be able to provide a little bit of cash toward the growing number of projects they benefit from but the general public would also have some means to report the many who disobey traffic laws or hit and run pedestrians on sidewalks.

    Maybe they can bring back the ferry for the motor vehicles and let the cyclists have the bridge. Doesn’t seem that far fetched given the strength that the cycling lobby has somehow managed to attain.

  3. Steve Staniek says:

    County roads are an endless headache to be sure, but bridges that are safe for families should be the real concern of conscientious elected officials. Unfortunately, our elected officials dropped the ball on family safety on the Skyway Bridge, by refusing to make a hard stand for a protected pedestrian and cyclist walkway on the Skyway Bridge. That failure to protect us against an indifferent MTO exposes families to unacceptable bridge risks created by the MTO.[A combination of unsafe bridge design and dangerous biking regulations that force bikers into harm’s way onto the pavement.] As a result, the safety case for the Skyway Bridge will not be ungraded, and families will face those risks daily.
    The Skyway Bridge was clearly not designed for ‘the safe passage of pedestrians or cyclists’ 50 years ago, when there were few homes in the area, but the MTO did not ban these high risk travellers from using what was known to be an unsafe bridge by design.
    Since then, communities have grown on both sides of the bridge, but their importance has been downplayed by MTO efforts to avoid building a more costly bridge that would be safe for everyone. [the cost of the redo has jumped several times, and is now approaching the cost of a safe bridge,ie: 200 million].
    The MTO refuses to give a threshold number of pedestrians and cyclist used by a warrant system they invented to avoid providing pedestrian protection in areas where pedestrian and cycling traffic is light. Our view is that every life matters, and when a single cyclist or pedestrian gets in trouble on an open, but narrow bridge where all manner of traffic is forced together at highway speeds, it’s a formula for disaster. The MTO’s new one meter buffer zone for cyclists is geometrically impossible to comply with on the current bridge, without endangering your life. That makes the Skyway “illegal” as well as dangerous, and we recognize a dangerous lack of diligence by the MTO.
    I was caught in this death trap in 2017, a few months after the new MTO cycling reg came out. I and several other drivers had a harrowing experience of being trapped behind a cyclist on the bridge. Unable to legally pass the cyclist moving at 15 km/h, because of the new 1 meter buffer, we had to escape the peloton illegaly by crossing the double yellow lines, without being unable to see oncoming traffic cresting the bridge. We were exposed unnecessarily to MTO manufactured, life-threatening risks on the Skyway Bridge. MTO has effectively ignored cycling and pedestrian safety on the bridge, and by extension motorist safety.A protected walkway that removes pedestrians and cyclists from harm’s way also protects all travelers effectively.
    The MTO is only interested in large death tolls, and that cavalier attitude exposes a very disturbing lack of safety culture.
    The first duty of government is to protect, and when elected officials turn their backs on family safety, we are forced to defend ourselves against unacceptable road and bridge risks by whatever legal means available, and that may include shaming.
    The MTO watched this unsafe bridge for many years, and knew they would have to provide a safe bridge for everyone eventually, but they chose to protect their budgets instead of families. My petiton for a safe bridge sampled the County, and it received overwhelming support by residents, but unfortunately not by our elected officials.

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