Reconstruction of Clearview Seasonal Sideroad 26/27
Letter to the Board of AWARE Simcoe
RE: Reconstruction of Clearview Seasonal Sideroad 26/27 to an all- weather road and Closing and Transferring to Walker Industries a Section of former Simcoe County Road 91 abutting their two Properties
On December 28, 2022, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks formerly notified Clearview Township that Sideroad 26/27 (26/27) is now classified as a Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) undertaking, not a Schedule A+ MCEA as originally proposed by Clearview. The reasons given are change in the purpose and use of the road and the need to realign a watercourse to address erosion and flooding.
26/27 looking west up steep slope, proposed reconstruction requires considerable clearing and sophisticated road drainage design.
If Clearview intend to continue with the reconstruction of 26/27, they are now required to consult with the public, consider economic and social issues, and study alternate solutions to document a preferred solution. An Environmental Study Report documenting their rationale, design, and consultation process is to be made available to the public for a period of at least 30 days .
It is not clear how much Clearview have spent on the project, but it is believed to be around $10.2 million to upgrade former County Road 91 (91) and a section of Concession Road 10, yet to be complete. To this amount must be added the cost of reconstructing 26/27, said to be over $4 million. As a result, Clearview needs to find additional funds if they intend to proceed.
Over 2000 letters from area residents objecting to the reconstruction of 26/27 and the closing of 91 have been received.
Recently repaved 91 looking east, to the north Walkers exhausted Quarry to the south the new Quarry. This section of 91 to be transferred to Walkers and closed when 26/27 constructed.
The BMWT believes if alternatives are properly studied, reconstruction of 26/27 will not be the preferred alternative and a less costly and environmentally better solution will be found.
Clearview should carefully consider the “do nothing” alternative if they intend to proceed with a Schedule C MCEA. This option is a potential “win-win” solution for all parties and was presented to Clearview by the BMWT and the Town of the Blue Mountains back in October 2020.
Further with the projected growth in the area, it would be prudent to address the impacts on the inter-county transportation network.
Edited by Ruairi Powell-Smith
Written and Photo by George Powell BMWT
BMWT Blue Mountain Watershed Trust click here