After nearly an entire summer of feedback against closing a portion of Eastgate Drive near Coleman Crescent and hours of public consultation over roughly the past week, it didn’t take Regina City Council very long to approve a temporary solution for keeping the road open.
During a special council meeting Thursday night, the mayor and councilors voted in favour of a temporary east-west route over Pilot Butte Creek connecting Eastgate and Coleman. A temporary, modular bridge structure will replace the current Eastgate bridge by the end of December, once the Victoria Avenue East project is finished.
“The delegations who were respectful, forceful, and clear in their comments last week were once again today clear in their expectations,” outlined Mayor Michael Fougere.
Two public consultations were recently held by city staff — including one on Monday— with businesses and residents to gauge how the city could both maintain access for customers and those living in the area, while still appreciating improvements have to be made to Victoria Ave.
“I was very, very impressed with how quickly this moved along with the help of council,” indicated Dave Dunn with Creekside Pub.
“The administration worked with the people, the residents, the businesses to come up with a solution that worked for everybody,” said Kevin Kasha, also with the pub.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances the following actions will now be taken by the city:
— Temporarily close Eastgate Drive access from Coleman for approximately four (4) days (starting the evening of October 9, 2015);
— Complete the right in/right out construction between Victoria Avenue and Eastgate Drive;
— Reopen Eastgate Drive and the right in from Victoria Avenue (October 13, 2015);
— Remove detour lanes on Victoria Avenue and restore Coleman Crescent intersection;
— Open right in/right out and close Eastgate Drive (tentatively the week of October 19,
— Remove Eastgate Bridge and complete Victoria Ave culvert construction;
— Begin preparation for temporary bridge installation for the interim solution; and
— Reopen Eastgate Drive and close right in/right out as well as additional lanes on Victoria Avenue West Bound (tentatively, end of December, 2015)
The temporary solution will require the city to spend up to $1.5 million. The recommendation council voted to approve also requires city administration to come back to council sometime in the spring with recommendations to find a permanent solution.