The City has started making improvements along the Speedvale Avenue corridor between Elmira Road North and Stevenson Street. Speedvale is an essential corridor in Guelph for local residential and commercial traffic, movement of goods and services for local businesses, and railway access. The City is taking a strategic phased approach to this work.
A future-focused plan
Water and sewer pipes running under Speedvale Avenue must be replaced as they approach the end of their lifecycle and upgraded to support Guelph’s growing population.
“Water and sewer pipes are expected to last about 80 to 100 years; the pipes under Speedvale Avenue now are 70 to 90 years old,” explains Terry Gayman, the City’s general manager of Engineering and Transportation Services. “Replacing pipes before they begin to break is more cost-effective and allows us to install infrastructure that supports future population growth and economic development opportunities.”
These upgrades are crucial for a future-ready Guelph and achieving the City’s overall vision for the roadway. In addition to replacing underground pipes, the bridge over the Speed River will be replaced, and the City will improve and add travel options for people who walk, cycle, and use other forms of active transportation. Road improvements will also benefit people driving and riding transit.
Projects in the plan
City staff is working on several projects in different sections of Speedvale Avenue in a phased approach.
- Elmira Road North to Imperial Road North
- Imperial Road North to Royal Road Retaining Wall
- Silvercreek Parkway North
- Westmount Road to Glenwood Avenue
- Glenwood Avenue to Speedvale and Woolwich Railway Tracks
- Speed River Bridge replacement
- Riverview Drive to Clive Avenue
- Clive Avenue to Manhattan Court
- Emma to Earl pedestrian bridge
Work on some of these projects is currently underway, with construction to continue over the next few years. For more information about any project, please visit guelph.ca/construction.
The Speedvale Bridge
Work to replace the Speedvale Bridge is planned around construction of the new Emma to Earl pedestrian bridge so that pedestrians and cyclists have a safe, alternate route while the Speedvale Bridge is being replaced.
The City recently updated and finalized the Emma Street to Earl Street Pedestrian Bridge Municipal Class Environmental Assessment as requested by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. Should the assessment confirm a new pedestrian bridge as the preferred solution, construction is expected in 2024 or 2025. A recent study of the Speedvale Bridge’s structural integrity indicated load restrictions would likely need to be imposed in about five years time. City staff will continue to monitor the bridge condition on an annual basis.
Communication with local businesses will be key throughout the process. “We understand the impact construction can have on revenue generation, and we’re working hard to build and provide alternate routes during the Speedvale Bridge closing,” adds Gayman. “We will do everything we can to support businesses and their customers throughout this important work and the Emma to Earl bridge is one way we can make it as easy as possible for customers to access local businesses.
Active transportation options for a net-zero future
Improving the quality of active transportation options along Speedvale Avenue will increase the safety, efficiency and connectivity of Guelph’s transportation system. Sidewalks, paved multi-use paths, and the addition of the Emma to Earl pedestrian bridge are important investments in sustainable transportation, and vital to supporting a future-ready Guelph, the Transportation Master Plan and the City’s commitment to the Race To Zero.