Preparing Waterloo for light rail transit
The Region of Waterloo’s transportation master plan called for a light rail transit (LRT) line on King Street—construction to begin in spring of 2016. King Street, a major transportation route, would need to be shut down, so in preparation for that construction, the Region of Waterloo began another project on a parallel street. Widening Weber Street from two lanes to four would absorb some of King Street’s displaced traffic.
Weber Street was regularly congested and continually delayed thanks to narrow construction, a CN track crossing, and numerous residential and business properties. It was an unsafe, noisy, arterial road through a high-density urban area—and it needed to be widened by December 2015 in time for the closure of King Street.
After a Class Environmental Assessment study, we identified 30 buildings that would need to be purchased and demolished. We also completed railway negotiations and approvals (involving six rail agencies) and worked with three municipalities as well as local neighborhood groups.
With this successful street widening—in only 18 months—the Region of Waterloo confidently moved forward on their LRT plans for King Street, and Weber Street benefitted from improved safety, reduced congestion, and the capacity to handle over 20,000 displaced vehicles every day.
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