Slow going for proposed Elgin Greenway in downtown Sudbury
$5M to $6M plan expected to be presented to city council this fall
Despite delays, the proposed Elgin Greenway is slowly making its way towards being built, Sudbury city planners say.
The project, which would see one side of Elgin Street transformed into a linear park and trail, was first proposed five years ago during the public consultations for the city's Downtown Master Plan.
It is designed to run through the new architecture school, and then run along the train yard side of Elgin, with plazas and public art sprinkled along the route. The greenway eventually reaches Ramsey Lake at Bell Park.
Director of planning services Jason Ferrigan says the detailed design was originally supposed to be complete in 2014.
"We were unable to achieve that, but for good reason. And the major reason is we're taking our time to get the design right," he says.
Ferrigan says the detailed design phase is also bringing together different disciplines, including landscape design, urban planning and transportation engineering, which has lead to some healthy discussions and debates.
Ferrigan says he now expects the design to be complete this fall, when it will be presented to Sudbury city council to vote on, to decide if the project should go ahead.
Part of that will be an estimated price tag for the Elgin Greenway, estimated to be between $5- and $6 million, some of which may come from the private sector or the provincial and federal governments.
Ferrigan says the city is also taking its time with the Greenway, because it's seen as a project with wider implications than just redeveloping the downtown.
"This is really about transforming our quality of place and our public realm and the city sort of saying 'this is what Greater Sudbury looks like in the 21st Century'," he says.
"This is the type of city we hope to build for the generations that are going to come after us."
The next Sudbury street to get a greenway-type treatment could be Lasalle Boulevard.
Ferrigan says now that the Maley Drive Extension is going ahead, the traffic on Lasalle is expected to ease. And that, he says, presents an opportunity to imagine what the busy thoroughfare might look like in the future and how the city should plan for that.
He says city planners are preparing to launch an in-depth study of Lasalle next year.