With the development at the north end of Brook road now moving ahead, also moving forward is planning for a third interchange with the 401 at Nagle Road. Currently, Nagle Road has a bridge over the highway but no access to the 401. Starting in 2017, MTO started the process to plan upgrading the 401 to 6 and ultimately 8 lanes from Cobourg to Colborne (more in Resources below). This will involve rehabilitating or more likely replacing seven bridges; the process starts with an Environmental Assessment (EA) which looks at natural, social, economic and cultural issues and includes public consultation. The Nagle Road Interchange is a separate project and is a Town initiative but will also require an EA, so to save money, Cobourg elected to piggy-back the required EA on the 401 expansion project EA.
The two EAs started in 2019 and a Public meeting was held (see Cobourg News Blog report in Resources below) but progress was interrupted by the pandemic. At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Council approved payment to the EA contractor to continue (costing $114K) – a second public meeting is expected but will now likely be after the Provincial Election.
Funding for the EA and design and construction of the Interchange will be the responsibility of Cobourg – 75% of this will come from Development charges.
At right is a simplified map of the Secondary Plan area (original at the Town’s web site).
What is an Environmental Assessment?
This is how the Town describes it:
An Environmental Assessment’s purpose is to consider all options for a project and consider all impacts to the surrounding area of the project including social, economic, technical, environmental and cultural impacts.
Since an EA is typically conducted at a high level of analysis, they often result in recommendations for further studies more specific to the preferred alternative solution. In the case of Nagle Road, the Stage 1 archaeological assessment resulted in a recommendation for a Stage 2 assessment. Due to the proximity to a water course and the subject area has not had any historical disturbance in the past, there is a higher probability that archaeological resources may exist. A Stage 2 archaeological assessment involves a detailed subsurface investigation of the entire area of the proposed interchange to search for the presence of cultural features. If there is evidence discovered, a Stage 3 archaeological assessment will be required. If no evidence is discovered, the EA will conclude with a final public meeting.
Another study that is included in the subject scope of work is a noise study that will analyze the potential changes in traffic noise associated with the conversion of an overpass at Nagle Road to the proposed interchange configuration.
A second and final Public Information Centre will also be conducted to share the results of these studies and present the recommended interchange configuration.
The motion passed by Council was to authorize completion of the Nagle Road Interchange Environmental Assessment and payment of $113,568.50 to Stantec Consulting Ltd. Councillor Emily Chorley asked if Stantec was selected based on Cobourg’s tender process; Director Laurie Wills replied that Stantec had been selected by MTO as the contractor.
Cobourg had previously paid Stantec $299,175 for stage one of the EA.
In response to a question from me about timing, Manager of Engineering Terry Hoekstra responded that “growth within Cobourg East Community will determine the need for the interchange in the future.” When that time comes, the EA will have been completed so delays will be minimal.
Cobourg News Blog Links
- Housing Developments in Northeast Cobourg – 28 June 2018
- Future Nagle Road Interchange – 19 September 2019
- Cobourg’s East End Continues to Grow – 8 Feb 2021
- Nagle Road Interchange – Planning, Preliminary Design, and Class Environmental Assessment Study by Stantec for MTO and Cobourg (on project web site)
- Town of Cobourg – Official Plan – (on Town of Cobourg Web site)