There might be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Burnside Expressway.
The project, which would provide a valuable alternative to Magazine Hill, could be construction-ready by 2011.
The project has been ongoing for about 15 to 20 years, delayed by changes of government and priorities.
“The missing piece of the puzzle there is funding,” said Dwayne Cross, a senior highway planning engineer. “We don’t have funding established for it yet.”
The route, planned out years ago, will be hammered down in the next month.
“Once we complete that functional design, we’ll be moving into the environmental assessment process,” Cross said.
Then a public consultation will be coming in mid-February.
The $100-million project has three phases, and the first phase will likely be completed by late 2012.
“The first phase would be an extension of Burnside Drive over to Duke Street,” Cross said.
When Magazine Hill, with its 30,000 cars a day, gets congested — or even further backed up when there’s an accident — drivers will be able to take this extension instead of going out to Fall River to avoid the traffic.
“There is a lot of interest in seeing this project get started,” Cross said.