Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 9:30 a.m., Oct. 9)
Latest revision of Transportation Master Plan extends light rail to Place d'Orléans

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

At long last the city's Transportation Master Plan will address the needs of east end commuters by extending light rail from Blair Road to Place d'Orléans.

The news was contained in Mayor Jim Watson's unveiling of the latest version of the transportation blueprint which establishes the city's transportation and transit priorities for the next 20 years.

The proposed extension will include four new rail stations at St. Joseph/ Montreal Rd., Jeanne d'Arc Blvd., Orléans Blvd. and Place d'Orléans.

East end residents will also benefit from the future Blackburn Hamlet Bypass Extension and the Brian Coburn Boulevard Extension which are both included in the Draft Transportation Master Plan.

The addition of an east end LRT extension in Stage 2 of the light rail plan represents a major revision of the current Transportation Master Plan which doesn't call for the extension until 2031. It also represents a major victory for residents along the Hwy. 174 corridor.

In 2009, city council passed a motion calling for a future LRT extension to run south of Innes Road through Avalon from Blair Road to Trim Road. That line will now have to wait until after the Hwy. 174 line is built.

The decision to include an east end LRT extension in Stage 2 was immediately being held by east end councillors Bob Monette and Stephen Blais who have working behind the scenes to make it happen.

"it means light rail will be coming to Orléans a lot sooner than what we expected. We will be breaking ground next term so that 90 per cent of Orléans residents will be within five kilometres of light rail," Monette said after the announcement.

Besides being a great benefit to Orléans commuters, the light rail extension should help bring more jobs to the area, Monette added.

Area residents will be able to provide their input into the Draft Transportation Master Plan at a public open house on Sunday, Oct. 27at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex on Youville Drive between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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