Province provides $45K for design; groups aim to being construction this year
Just as the city is getting ready to release a request for proposals for the Elgin Street Greenway, the province has stepped up with $45,000 to support the project.
The Greenway would run along the length of Elgin Street in Sudbury’s downtown, not only providing a visually attractive border, but providing links to trails in the South End and New Sudbury. It’s part of the Downtown Master Plan, introduced by city council in January 2012, which proposes dozens of projects to improve downtown.
The Greenway has the support of several groups, including the city, the Downtown Village Development Corporation and Rainbow Routes.
With hopes of beginning work on the project this year, the city is expected to release the request for proposals (RFP) for the design phase of the project sometime this month.
In a December interview, Susan Thompson, head of the Downtown Village Development Corporation, said the groups have been meeting for more than a year to plan ways of getting the Greenway started.
“So, knowing all the steps that are required, the first step is the design phase,” Thompson said. “And for that, you need to hire a professional team to do the design.
“The goal is to physically begin construction on the Greenway in 2013,” she said, adding the time between issuing the RFP and actually awarding the contract should be about six weeks. The entire project is expected to cost between $1.5 million and $2 million and take three years to complete.
“It’s basically going to be a game-changer for our downtown,” Thompson said.
The $45,000 announced Jan. 11 will help fund the design phase, Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci said in a press release.
“Today’s funding will help with the cost of hiring a landscape architect to design the one-kilometre linear park along the rail corridor in downtown Sudbury,” the release said. “The development of the Elgin Greenway will create a cycle and pedestrian-friendly conduit within the city’s tourist destinations in the downtown core.”
The Greenway will add to the tourism infrastructure downtown by linking destinations such as Bell Park, Science North and Dynamic Earth. When complete, it will also form a section of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).
“The Greenway will form a key TCT link as it crosses our community and connects us and visitors to key destinations,” Samantha Baulch, president of Rainbow Routes Association, said in the release.
Thompson said the project has been divided into phases. Phase 1 includes the section from the Nelson Street bridge to Minto Street. Construction of the school of architecture will take care of another phase – from Elm to Larch streets.
“But in 2013, we want to have the section from the Nelson Street bridge to Minto Street well under way,” she said. “And, of course, that connects to Bell Park and across Ramsey Lake Road to the Rainbow Routes trail that connects to (Laurentian) University. So we would have people connecting into the downtown core, which is great.”
When complete, the Greenway would also connect to routes into New Sudbury.
“It’s such a fantastic thing,” Thompson said. “I think everybody can see it coming.”