Advertisement

Start date postponed as redesign of Charlottetown's University Avenue hits roadblock

Charlottetown Coun. Mitch Tweel says the delay is 'very, very disappointing.' (Aaron Adetuyi/CBC - image credit)
Charlottetown Coun. Mitch Tweel says the delay is 'very, very disappointing.' (Aaron Adetuyi/CBC - image credit)

A project to redesign Charlottetown's main thoroughfare is being postponed for at least 18 months.

Work planned for University Avenue, which was scheduled to begin this spring, included new right-turn lanes, a centre median, two new intersections and bike lanes.

Officials say the project is on hold because the city is still in talks with Maritime Electric and Bell about burying utility lines.

Mitchell Tweel, the councillor for Ward 4, which includes part of University Avenue, is frustrated by the delay.

"For this project to be delayed another 18 months or another two years, I mean who says it's not going to take three years or five years for that matter. Very, very disappointing. Very disappointing for our community user groups that use University Avenue. There's 30,000 cars on this avenue. It's the busiest street in Charlottetown."

Tweel isn't the only one disappointed. Mitch Underhay of Bike Friendly Communities said University Avenue is not safe for cyclists, and he and fellow cyclists were looking forward to the new bike lanes.

The city will be adding medians along University Avenue, which will prevent left turns into and out of places like the Atlantic Superstore and Burger King.
The city will be adding medians along University Avenue, which will prevent left turns into and out of places like the Atlantic Superstore and Burger King.

An aerial view of what the intersection of University and Belvedere avenues would look like under the new plan. (City of Charlottetown)

He's hoping the wait will be worth it.

"We understand that this is a long-term project. We see the active transportation network, the area around Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall, as kind of a long-term project. This is a long evolution of changing how we get around our city, 18 months isn't the end of the world," he said.

"We'd obviously love for it to happen sooner but this is how budgets go sometimes."

City staff involved with the project were unavailable for an interview Wednesday, but said in a statement that residents would be informed when the city has a new start date.

The city also provided updates on two other road projects.

It is working on a master plan for North River Road and anticipates the final version will go to council this summer.

As well, Phase 1 work of the Eastern Gateway Project, which began last fall on Grafton Street, is expected to be completed by end of June. Phase 2 should begin in the coming weeks with anticipated completion by mid-August.