County Road 2 Long Sault Improvements EA Study Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment. Environmental Study Report

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1 Study Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment

2 Prepared By: BT Engineering 100 Craig Henry Drive, Suite 201 Ottawa, ON K2G 5W3 (613) (855) Toll free

3 Executive Summary

4 Executive Summary E-1 EA Project An Environmental Assessment (EA) to examine potential roadway improvements to County Road 2 from 300 m east of Robin Road to 250 m west of the intersection of County Road 35 was initiated by the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry in February The improvements will support asset preservation, which is part of the Counties asset management plan. The study documents the transportation need, available alternatives, and public consultation and the Recommended Plan addresses current and future operational needs considering all modes of travel. These improvements will provide all users, (pedestrians, bicycles, autos and heavy vehicles), with a safe and convenient way to travel reflecting the character of the Township s community design plan. The improvements change the roadway design from a high speed arterial through the village as originally designed when the road was under the Provincial jurisdiction to a lower speed roadway reflecting the commercial and residential adjacent land uses. The EA has examined alternatives for the cross section of County Road 2 within the Study Area. Intersection alternatives were assessed for the intersections on County Road 2 at Moulinette Road and at Mille Roches Road. E1.1 Study Area The Study Area follows County Road 2 from 400 m east of Robin Road to 250 m west of the intersection of County Road 35 (Moulinette Road). It also includes the intersection and approach of the Long Sault Parkway, under the jurisdiction of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. This parkway is maintained by the County on behalf of the St. Lawrence Parkway Commission. The study area is located in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and is illustrated in Figure E1. Figure E1: Study Area i

5 E-2 Municipal Class EA Process This project was initiated as a Schedule B project and has followed the requirements under the Planning and Design process of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, as amended in 2011 by including the Phase 3 review of alternatives and public consultation that are requirements of a Schedule C project. This is a self-assessment process that includes mandatory public consultation which the study has met and exceeded by voluntarily following the requirements for a Schedule C project. The Class EA Process is undertaken in a series of phases commencing with identifying the problem and culminating in the filing of a Project File. The phases are shown in Figure E2. The Class EA process includes an evaluation of all reasonable alternatives and the selection of a preferred alternative(s) with acceptable effects (including mitigation measures) on the natural and social/cultural environments. The EA process entails five phases: Phase 1: Identify the Problem Phase 2: Alternative Solutions Phase 3: Alternative Design Concepts for the Preferred Solution Phase 4: Phase 5: Implementation This study will only be completed to the end of the municipal EA process (i.e. Phase 4), and will then proceed to Phase 5 (Implementation) when the County funds construction of the project. ii

6 ESR Final Notice November 27, 2015 PIC No. 1 January 28, 2015 PIC No. 2 September 9, 2015 Figure E2: Municipal Class EA Planning and Design Process iii

7 E-3 Consultation The public consultation approach used several techniques to proactively involve the public.the study was carried out in consultation with County staff, external agencies, the general public, property owners and technical specialists. The overall direction was provided by a Steering Committee comprised of staff and councillors from the United Counties, staff and councillors from the Township of South Stormont and staff of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. The EA process included two Public Information Centres (PIC s). The first PIC presented the project goals, problem and opportunity statement, environmental inventories, traffic analysis including the assessment of alternatives, and Technically Recommended Alternative and obtained public/agency input/feedback. The second PIC presented the Recommended Plan including refinements based on the assessment of design concept alternatives. This EA is presented to the public and review agencies for a 30-day comment period, with the study completion notice being advertised on November 27, The County Road 2 Long Sault Improvements EA Study included several proactive consultation and public engagement techniques as follows: Two (2) Public Information Centres (PIC s) Two (2) rounds of meetings with the Study Design Team Six (6) meetings with the Study Design Team One (1) meeting each with three property owners Liaison with external agencies Consultation with First Nations group Positive feedback was received on the Recommended Plan through this consultation. An outline of the entire process can be found in Figure E3, including the consultation stages, technical decision making stages and key issues addressed. Figure E3: Key Decision Making Flow Chart iv

8 E-4 Analysis and Evaluation E4.1 Assessment of Alternative Planning Solutions The evaluation of alternatives considered alternative planning solutions. For this study, the alternative planning solutions included: Do Nothing Maintain the existing conditions (rehabilitate and repair assets) Introduce cross section contraction (remove additional lanes and add a single roundabout at County Road 35) Introduce cross sectional contraction (remove additional lanes and add two roundabouts at County Roads 35 and 36). The Do Nothing alternative was not carried forward for evaluation because it does not address the preservation of the road assets which have significant deterioration. Also it does not satisfy roadway development goals for County Road 2 that are outlined in the Township s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and does not address safety concerns for existing entrances along the corridor. Action is required for the safety of all roadway users along County Road 2 and there is a need to define a plan which will restore the pavement, curbs and traffic control assets of the County. Therefore, the Do Nothing alternative was not carried forward. E4.3 Evaluation of Preliminary Design Alternatives The preliminary design alternatives were compared (see Section 6.0 and Appendix B) and a stepped approach has been carried forward. This approach recommends reconstruction using a roundabout at County Road 35 with long range property protection for a second roundabout at County Road 36. This will provide a safer roadway design that has greater consistency with the community design plan of the Township of South Stormont. E4.4 Technically Preferred Alternative (TPA) The Technically Preferred Alternative (TPA) for this project includes the following key features: Removing existing additional travel lanes on County Road 2 from west of Robin Road to west of Moulinette Road Constructing a new roundabout at Moulinette Road (County Road 35) Closing former commercial entrances along County Road 2 near the roundabout (where the land uses no longer exist as businesses) Constructing a raised median along County Road 2 from the roundabout at Moulinette Road to Mille Roches Road as a safety improvement The remainder of the Planning Solutions were carried forward to be assessed as preliminary design alternatives. E4.2 Preliminary Design Alternatives The four (4) preliminary design alternatives considered for this project are as follows: Alternative 1: Roadway Rehabilitation involves rehabilitating the existing roadway by milling and resurfacing the pavement throughout, replacing curbs/gutters and upgrading traffic signals. Alternative 2: Roadway Contraction involves reducing the number of through lanes (eliminating EB & WB lanes) along CR 2 and adding left and right turn lanes at CR 36. Alternative 3: Single Roundabout - involves reducing the number of through lanes (eliminating EB & WB outside lanes) along CR 2 and adding left and right turning lanes at CR 36. In addition a single lane roundabout is being proposed at CR 35. Alternative 4: Twin Roundabouts - involves reducing the number of through lanes (eliminating EB & WB outside lanes) and replacing existing intersections at CR 2/CR 35 and CR 2/ CR 36 with single lane roundabouts. v

9 E-5 Recommended Plan The TPA was presented to the public at the first and second PIC s as well as at two property owners meetings. A list of refinements was made based on input from these meetings and created the Recommended Plan, as presented in Figure E4 below. The refinements made to the TPA include: Refinement 1: Provide a left turn lane median break to accommodate eastbound turning movements into the Long Sault Plaza; Refinement 2: Extend the 2-lane cross section easterly beyond Robin Road to accommodate eastbound passing opportunities on County Road 2; Refinement 3: Provide access to the Lion Motel: and Refinement 4: (Post PIC 2) Provide a northbound left turn lane to the Tim Horton s/macewen gas station development. The Recommended Plan uses a 2-stage planning approach. The first (1 st ) stage is described as the Technically Preferred Alternative and features a single-lane roundabout at the intersection of County Road 2 and County Road 35, as well as a reduction of the cross-section to a 2-lane cross-section within the study area. The second (2 nd ) stage is known as the Long Term Plan, as illustrated in Figure E5. The Long Range Plan involves reducing the number of through lanes in both east and westbound directions and replacing intersections at County Road 2/County Road 35 and County Road 2/Count Road 36 with single-lane roundabouts. This would improve safety for road users within the village by inducing slower operating speeds, which would reduce high severity collisions. Long term operation and maintenance costs would be lower due to the reduction in pavement area that needs to be maintained. The cost of installing and maintaining traffic signals would be eliminated at County Road 2/County Road 35 and a gateway to the Long Sault Parkway would be created. The two-staged plan will continue to protect for a second intersection improvement (roundabout) at County Road 36 after the first intersection improvement is complete. Statement of Flexibility The ESR is being prepared to secure environmental approvals for improvements to both intersections and the decision on constructing one or two roundabouts as part of the project will be subject to funding availability, municipal support of funding and competing priorities in the County. vi

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12 E-6 Next Steps At the end of the 30-day review period, should there be no objections to the project, then the County may proceed with design and construction of the Recommended Plan, subject to availability of funding and competing construction priorities. ix

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