Councillor, Ward 1 Aurora

Metrolinx Community Construction Liaison Committee

 

Metrolinx Community Construction Liaison Committee (CCLC)

Meets for the First Time

 

Many in Town are anticipating the double track construction that will bring 15-minute, two-way service to commuters and those wanting to use the Go Trains to and from Toronto and stations between.

This track improvement is much needed to improve public transportation opportunities, but as with all things that require construction, it will come with some challenges during implementation.

The Metrolinx Construction team came to meet with stakeholders on Thursday, November 23rd for the first time to set out the Terms of Reference for the CCLC, the Scope of the Committee engagement and other items related. The CCLC stakeholders were ready with questions and brought them forward. Minutes of the meeting were taken by Metrolinx and once approved, they will be available on my Website at www.ronweese.ca

 

Scope of this CCLC

The CCLC’s primary purpose is restricted to providing relevant information exchange on the construction of the Yonge Street bridge and Aurora Station platform. Track construction is nearing Aurora. You may have noticed the platform construction is now underway.

*Note-this Committee will be focused on the two projects described and will not be concerned with the Wellington Street grade separation project. Interesting to note that Metrolinx has yet to approve their level crossing plans, system wide. Yes…they do not know, or have not shared, WHETHER there will be a grade separation at Wellington, for which many residents have been concerned for many solid reasons. More to come when the level crossing plan has been approved.

Nor will this Committee be concerned specifically with the actual double-track construction although questions were asked about those impacts.

 

Committee Membership

Aurora Ratepayer Association representatives were invited to participate as were the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Councillors who were identified as representing Wards adjacent to the tracks.

The Committee size is not to exceed 15 members and there are a few available positions available, so if anyone has interest, please connect with me.

The Committee also includes The Metrolinx Community Engagement Team, the Construction Project teams (both Metrolinx and contractors) and Town staff responsible for various town-related issues.

While some items may be confidential, the real purpose is to provide an open and transparent dialogue and information sharing opportunity. It is why Ratepayer Associations were a priority, so they could reach all their members as well as the Chamber and BIA. I continue to advocate for Ratepayer Association development as this is the best way to create momentum for any neighbourhood. Here is the link if you would like to pursue this https://www.aurora.ca/en/home-and-property/ratepayers-associations.aspx and I am happy to help you get underway.

 

Relevant News Shared

  1. It was a surprise to most that the grade separation at Wellington was not yet approved as many believed this was close-at-hand. It was not dismissed, but it was clear that the approvals have not been made public.
  2. Traffic and environmental studies are underway for all construction, and they must be submitted to the Town for approval.
  3. Construction will be restricted to daylight hours and should any after-hours construction be required, advanced notice will be provided.
  4. All construction is monitored for vibration to ensure minimal, if any, damage to adjacent structures.
  5. Vegetation removal will be necessary at various places along the track and Metrolinx is responsible for ensuring that any trees lost will not affect light-bleed issues with adjacent homes or create excessive noise pollution. Scanlon Court parking lot has experienced this issue with adjacent homes and Metrolinx is now working on a solution with the residents there. Tree replacement strategies are in place.
  6. The train trestle at Yonge Street will be expanded with a new bridge and tracks to accommodate the second track. Engineering is now underway. Yonge street traffic flow was discussed at this high-volume area as lanes are closed to allow safe construction and efficient traffic flow.
  7. Architectural renderings have been developed for the new platform and station upgrades including the pedestrian passageway between the east and west platforms and when they are received, they will be shared.
  8. No changes to the east platform, nor any modifications to the historic Station or parkette will be made.
  9. Note that pedestrian tunnels are now created but are not functional at the Station. All pedestrian passageways will become fully accessible and include elevators where appropriate to facilitate pedestrian movement between the east and west sides of the track.
  10. There will be an additional vehicular entrance/exit off Berczy Street for access/egress and a ‘Kiss&Ride’ area is also to be constructed for both sides of the Station.
  11. The Scanlon Court parking lot was previously constructed to account for the lost parking capacity at the Station because of the platform space needed on the west side of the tracks. It was noted that the Town is responsible for the sidewalk construction and maintenance to/from the Aurora Station and the Scanlon Court parking lot.
  12. The second track construction will stop between 100-200 yards north of Wellington Street. This was a surprise to many as we have heard that the construction will continue up the Barrie line. This isn’t to say, it won’t be constructed in the future, but it isn’t part of this project. This of course brings several questions forward regarding the Aurora Station becoming a terminus of the two-track construction and operation. This will be discussed in future meetings.
  13. The next meeting date will be in February as this will be when significant construction will be apparent and communications needed.
  14. Metrolinx will be pushing out communication to each of the committee members to share with their stakeholders but Metrolinx would like all resident to go to the Metrolinx Website at https://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/metrolinx-upgrades-aurora-go-station-for-go-expansion-work and you can sign-up for their newsletter there also.

There is no question that this project is a substantial undertaking, and there will be inconveniences.

But I believe that double-tracking will be a great boost to Our Town.
Yes, it will be easier to get downtown.

It will also be easier for people to visit Aurora, and take part in some of our many activities and/or enjoy some of our cultural centres.

Finally, I would like to extend my best wishes for the upcoming holiday season!

 

 

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