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Kawartha Lakes to investigate several options as part of Fenelon Falls crossing project

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is moving forward with investigating a number of measures to help ease traffic flow in Fenelon Falls.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, November 2nd, councillors heard an update from Dillon Consulting regarding the Fenelon Falls second crossing project. According to the Kawartha Lakes online ‘Jump In’ page, the purpose of this project “is to address the traffic concerns surrounding the existing bridge located on Colborne Street in Fenelon Falls.”

Some of the options the consultants looked at were expansion of the existing bridge, building an in-town bridge crossing and creating a by-pass crossing.

Rory Baksh from Dillon Consulting first addressed the bridge widening option.

“If we expand the bridge and add space, it adds a bit of relief. But the queues continue to grow and grow. And the tie-ins to those streets and the way those local lanes are configured, it simply just shifts the bottleneck. It doesn’t fully resolve the challenge there.”

He also spoke about the in-town bridge crossing option.

“We are suggesting it be considered for the future. We’re not actually taking it off the table,” Mr. Baksh explained. “It remains an option [which] might have merit, given the needs for the community. It’s not recommended as an immediate solution.”

He added the current cost and scale for the project as reasons for the municipality not to start on this option right away.

Dillon Consulting recommended the municipality do further study on the by-pass option.

“The by-pass is seen as an opportunity to move some of the traffic congestion outside of town,” Mr. Baksh stated.

Council later voted to: move “forward with getting more information on [a] By-Pass option at the Somerville 3rd Concession” over Burnt River. To look at installing “better signage at County Road 121 and Highway 35”. To have staff “review restricting left turns on Lindsay Street and Colborne Street, Fenelon Falls, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving”. To investigate implementing a no parking restriction on Colborne Street during the above times. To look at possibly adding “an advanced left turn signal in and out of the Sobey’s entrance” and to “improve signage for Mitchell’s Bridge.”

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