GBBA pleased to see Expressway 'finally' being built

Ken Partridge
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You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief go up from the members of the Greater Burnside Business Association...

The lightly shaded areas of the map show the permanent parts of the roadway being built by the province. The darker areas show the temporary roadways to be built by the city to facilitate access to Phase 13 of Burnside. These roads will be removed as the province constructs the full Highway 107 interchange in later stages.

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief go up from the members of the Greater Burnside Business Association (GBBA) after it was announced the city and the province have finalized an agreement to transfer lands and begin construction on the first phase of the Burnside Expressway.

"We're glad to see there's finally progress to bring this long-awaited project to fruition," says Sean O'Boyle, chair of the GBBA. "There's a unanimous consensus amongst our members that it's the right thing to do."

O'Boyle says Burnside residents have waited a long time for this important piece of infrastructure to be completed and it's nice to finally have an actual target in hand. Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding signed by the province and the city, the first phase of the project must be completed on or before December 31, 2014.

Approximately 168 gross acres had to be transferred from the city to the province to allow for the project to get underway. The province made an unsolicited bid to the city for the lands equal to their full estimated market value. That value was determined in two appraisals, one done for the province by the Altus group and one for the city done by Atlantic Realty Advisors.

The sale of the land will directly benefit the city's business parks, since the revenues will be placed in the Business Park Capital Reserve Account. This is the fund that enables future land developments and improvements to all of the city's business parks.

This first phase involves the direct extension of Burnside Drive out to the Highway 107 corridor and the completion of that highway through to Bedford, eventually ending at Rocky Lake Road and connecting to the end of Duke Street.

Phase one doesn't include completion of the Highway 107 interchange with the top of Akerley Boulevard, although some components of this part of the project will be constructed to allow the city to access to begin development of Phase 13 of the Park.

The construction of these components will be a shared responsibility; the province will build the permanent pieces and the city will build the temporary pieces that will be removed once the province is ready to complete the interchange. The permanent pieces will be four lane, divided highway while the temporary sections will be two lane, undivided.

Timing for the completion of the Highway 107 bypass and the interchange remains uncommitted.

Organizations: Greater Burnside Business Association, Atlantic Realty Advisors, Business Park Capital Reserve Account

Geographic location: Rocky Lake Road, Duke Street, Akerley Boulevard

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