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‘Massive’ roads project in 2023 tied to future hospital in Niagara Falls

The City of Niagara Falls will enter a cost-sharing agreement with Niagara Region for a “massive” widening and road reconstruction project to accommodate the future south Niagara hospital.

During Tuesday’s meeting, city council approved the allocation of $13.6 million from its 2023 capital budget to support work along Montrose and Biggar roads, including the extension of Reixinger Road westerly.

The city’s portion will be funded by debentures, with 80 per cent to be recovered by development charges.

The city’s share includes local road widening and reconstruction, installation of storm and sanitary sewers, new watermains, street illumination and sidewalks/multi-use paths.

The project will provide roadway and servicing improvements municipal staff said is critical to support the operation of the hospital, expected to break ground at Montrose and Biggar roads next summer or fall and open by winter 2027/28, according to Niagara Health’s latest timelines.

“It’s a massive project,” said Erik Nickel, the city’s director of municipal works.

“The city’s contribution to the infrastructure … will service the lands around the hospital and Montrose Road, Reixinger Road, Biggar Road that are city-owned roads, in co-operation with Niagara Region.

“Niagara Region has this project out for tender right now in order to meet the new hospital timelines.”

Nickel said it’s an “exciting time” for the city “as we see the infrastructure out there to service the hospital and future growth.”

In 2020, the Region initiated an environmental assessment to address growth-related transportation needs associated with the Montrose (Regional Road 98) corridor between McLeod and Lyons Creek roads, and Lyons Creek (Regional Road 47) between the QEW and Montrose, and on Biggar (city road) between Montrose and the westerly limit of the future hospital.

The results of the study, which was completed and filed last November, identified numerous road widenings necessary to support the additional traffic lanes and associated infrastructure.

The study identified need to extend Reixinger westerly through Grand Niagara Golf course property to create a northerly signalized access for both hospital and future subdivision access purposes.

As part of the design/tender, the city advanced the reconstruction of Biggar from Montrose to approximately one kilometre west of Montrose, including urbanization with curbs and gutters, sidewalks and paths and sewers.

Included as part of the work is the extension of Reixinger 160 metres west from Montrose.

Within the regional Montrose right-of-way, the city will be cost sharing on watermain replacement/extensions, storm sewer allocation and sidewalk and path installation.

Construction is anticipated to begin early in 2023 with completion expected by mid-2024.

“Improvements to the city’s road network will limit the accidents and vehicle damage claims,” said a staff report that went before city council.

“Expansion of infrastructure will require future maintenance needs but is also vital to growth in this area, which will bring forward additional tax and sewer-base revenue.”

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