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Lesson learned: City seeks public input on new widening project

Another road widening project was unveiled to residents last night.

Another road widening project was unveiled to residents last night.

HRM and provincial staffers presented a study exploring the future of the Bayers Road and Highway 102 corridor from Windsor Street to Fall River.

Learning from the public outcry from the Chebucto Road widening construction last summer, HRM staffers are making sure there’s plenty of public input on this project from the beginning.

“We learned some lessons on public consultations I think,” said David McCusker, manager of HRM Regional Transportation. “This is certainly a much different process than Chebucto Road as this involves both (the HRM) and the province, and Chebucto was an imminent project.”

Construction on this project would likely be implemented in stages over the next 30 years.

The corridor is being examined for wider use because population growth is expected in west and south Bedford. On the upside, the traffic impacts will be limited to a single corridor and not spread out over roadways all over HRM.

“The downside is that impact is fairly significant,” McCusker said.

Design ideas include an underpass from the Bayers Lake Business Park under the highway, a new interchange at Larry Uteck Boulevard, and a transit-priority corridor along Bayers Road.

“The study time frame is 2026, so that’s a long time off,” he said, adding other related projects would be completed before then.

The first public meeting on the issue was held last night at the St. Andrew’s Centre on Bayers Road. The next one is tonight at the LeBrun Community Centre in Bedford at 6 p.m.

“We’re looking for input on the layout of the roadway. There may be ways to minimize the impact of additional traffic lanes,” McCusker said.

“There will also be input on a philosophical level saying catering to cars is not the way to go.”

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