Attendance light at Open House

Seems everyone talks about congestion and traffic backups at the intersection of Great Northern Road and Second Line.

That makes the lightly attended open house at Superior Heights High School Wednesday, examining options to relieve issues at the intersection now, and in the future, a bit surprising.

It was the second public open house held by the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Tulloch Engineering. The first session, held February 1, 2023, invited public input on various options. Wednesday’s session was an opportunity for Sault residents to see those options, with revisions.

“When we were retained to do this, council and city staff and the public have raised concerns that there is capacity and congestion issues in the Great Northern Rd. and Second Line area,” said Project Manager John McDonald, of Tulloch Engineering. “Our mandate was to look at that, and alleviate that congestion.”
Great Northern Rd, continues to see commercial growth. Future development, including the Pino’s Plaza, have been factored in to the current list of alternatives and remedies.

“As we move forward, we’re always collecting data,” said McDonald. “We have forecasted for future allowances for a build up of Great Northern Rd. and that’s factored in to our weighting (of options).”
The project is being planned under Schedule C of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process. Public input is a key component of the study. The public’s input of the options McDonald referred to as
“preliminary preferred” options Wednesday will help shape a set of preferred options, likely to be presented to the public in the spring of 2024.

The city retained Tulloch Engineering in 2020, to look at congestion and connectivity issues at the GNR/Second Line intersection. The study and data collection began that year. “It’s taken us some time because it’s a very large study and a very complex study to get to where we are today,” said McDonald.

Alternative solutions presented Wednesday include:

Extending Sackville Rd. to connect to Industrial Park Crescent
Connecting Industrial Park Cres,. to Second Line.
Implementing a double left turn at GNR and Second Line
A new traffic light at Industrial Park Cres. and GNR and removing
existing lights at entrances to Home Depot and Walmart
A connection to Old Garden River Rd. and Second Line intersection
A connection Second Line and Pine Street intersection
Extending Pine Street to Terrance Ave.

The various proposed alternatives have been assigned weights to four main environments: socio-economic, cultural, natural, and transportation/ technical.

Sault residents are urged to provide feedback on the current alternatives and can until Dec. 22, 2023. They can review the study’s findings to date by visiting the City of Sault Ste, Marie website at: www.saultstemarie.ca

The project is a can’t miss item on the City’s home page. A clickable survey option is on this page and full details of the alternatives can be found there.


People can also join the project’s mailing list by reaching out to:
[email protected].
The next public information centre will present design concepts for preferred solutions. That session will likely be held in early 2024.

Author

  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

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