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Columbia Street West

A man and woman wearing hardhats

In December, 2013, City Council approved the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for widening and reconstructing Columbia Street West between Erbsville Road and Fischer-Hallman Road.

Please note: The City of Waterloo strives to make all of its services accessible to all, including this website. Some of the documents on this page were prepared by a third-party consultant and may be inaccessible in their current format. If you would like any of these documents in an alternate format, please contact Francis Reyes, Engineering Services, by telephone at 519-747-8741.

Update - September, 2018

Surface asphalt has now been placed, which completes the road portion of the work. There will be on-going landscape related works along the boulevard and within the wetland area, until the fall.

Update - January, 2018

When construction ceased, due to weather, in December, 2017, a portion of the roadway, sidewalks and bike lanes were not completed to final specifications.

A multi-use trail was completed for the full length of the project and was completed to its three-metre wide design, except for a temporary, narrower, 250-metre length in the vicinity of the creek east of Erbsville Road. The roadway narrows to three lanes in this section to facilitate pre-loading of peat-rich soil that requires time for geotechnical settlement. Once the pre-loading is completed to the satisfaction of the geotechnical engineer, the remaining construction will be completed this year.

The contractor was not able to complete the topsoil and sod in the boulevards in 2017, and to keep the sidewalk plow from going over the edge of the multi-use trail, winter maintenance is being provided only in the centre portion of the trail. Although the maintained width is only the blade width of our sidewalk plows (1.5m ), this facility is open to cyclists and pedestrians. Winter maintenance is also being provided on the sidewalk between the roundabout at Chancery Lane/Bennigton Gate and Fischer- Hallman Road, either by the adjacent property owner or by the city.

There are two reasons the bike lanes are not receiving winter maintenance:

  • The bike lanes are not complete for the full length of the project
  • Winter maintenance of the raised bike lanes was to done using the wing on the road snow plow; however, this winter, the plow has to stay further from the curb to avoid the catch basins which have been set at finished grade. Staying further from the curb prevents the wing from covering the full width of the bike lane.

Construction will be completed in 2018 and full winter maintenance of the segregated bike lanes, the multi-use trail and sidewalks will commence with the winter of 2018-19.

In general, City staff will continue to implement snow clearing of bike lanes within the road allowance where construction of the works has been completed.

Update - September 2017

Full road closure of Columbia Street remains between Erbsville Road and Bennington Gate/Chancery Lane, while the contractor constructs the Clair Creek road crossing.

A partial closure of Columbia Street remains between Fischer-Hallman Road and Bennington Gate / Chancery Lane. This route is open with one lane in either direction and should be used by local traffic only. In early September, traffic was 'flipped' from the lanes on the north side of Columbia Street to the completed south side lanes. The contractor is now continuing with the reconstruction of the north side lanes.  

Update - May 2017

The contractor will commence with construction work on Erbsville Road (near Columbia Street) on May 10. There will be a partial road closure, however it will still be open for two way traffic.

The main work on Columbia Street will commence on May 15. It will be a full road closure between Erbsville Road and Chancery Lane (Chancery Lane and Columbia Street intersection will be open).

Update - April 2017

On Wednesday April 19, 2017, a Public Information Centre was held at the Kitchener/Waterloo Bilingual School, 600 Erb St. W., Waterloo in order to present the final design, construction staging and traffic management.

Update - March 2017

Following completion of the class EA addendum process, tenders for this project were received in March 2017 and the successful bid was within budget. Construction is targeted to start around April 24. A public information center is planned for Wednesday April 19 at the K-W Bilingual School, 600 Erb St. W., the attached notice is being circulated to the community. Information will be shown on the final design - construction staging, traffic management and detours. Information from this open house will be added to this webpage, please watch for further updates as they become available.

Update - January 2017

The planned design is to cross the tributary with a culvert and earthen side slopes instead of the bridge. This plan maintains the transportation components from the previous design, including multi-use trail, sidewalk, raised bike lanes and two vehicle lanes in each direction. The planned road elevation over the tributary will remain the same as with the bridge.

On Jan. 5 and 11, 2017,  a notice of the filing of the addendum will be published in the Waterloo Chronicle. This notice advises individuals that If concerns regarding the project can't be resolved through discussion with the project engineer, a person or party may request the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to make an order for the project to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act which addresses individual environmental assessments.  A Part II Order is for the addendum west tributary crossing only; the remainder of the Class EA remains unchanged. Requests for a Part II Order must be received, in writing, no later than Feb. 2, 2017.  The notice and details on how to make an order are provided below:

Update - December 2016

In September, staff received council approval to review options to bring the design for Columbia Street West back in line with the budget. Given the single most significant cost item of the project is the bridge crossing over the west tributary, staff determined that modifications must be made to this crossing to reduce project costs.

As this plan is a change from the previously approved environmental assessment (EA), an addendum to the EA was required. A notice of public information centre and filing of addendum was published in the Waterloo Chronicle on Nov. 30, 2016 and in The Record on Dec. 7, 2016. The notice was also mailed to all addresses (residents and businesses) within the study area. On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, a public information centre was held at the Kitchener/Waterloo Bilingual School, 600 Erb St. W., Waterloo in order to present information on the EA addendum.

Staff presented this design change to city council on Monday Dec. 12, 2016 prior to submitting to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

Columbia Street West