Remember that scene in Back to the Future, when Doc says to Marty: “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”
The opposite is true for Future Stittsville. Our village is expanding from about 30,000 today to over 70,000 in 2031, and the rapid growth here and in areas south like Richmond is already putting a strain on road infrastructure.
Most of the new roads will improve north-south connections to our community, taking pressure off streets like West Ridge, Stittsville Main and Huntmar/Iber. These roads were never designed to handle a high volume of north-south traffic, but they’re the only choice that commuters have while we wait for the rest of the pavement to arrive.
The City is planning a number of major new road projects, all laid out in the 2013 Transportation Master Plan that guides road and transit construction until 2031. Here’s an overview.
- NORTH-SOUTH ARTERIAL aka ROBERT GRANT AVENUE: This road will be the backbone of our road grid, eventually running all the way from Fernbank Road to Kanata North beyond the Queensway, parallel to Iber and Huntmar. It’s being built in phases: the first phase, from Fernbank to Abbott, has already been built. Phase two from Abbott to Hazeldean is 2020-2025, and phase three is 2026-2031 for the final connection to Kanata North.
- KANATA WEST MAINSTREET aka STITTSVILLE MAIN NORTH: This would extend Stittsville Main Street north from Jackson Trails, eventually connecting to Palladium Drive a bit east of Huntmar.
- CARP ROAD: Currently scheduled for 2020-2025, this project recently went through a design process to decide the best way to widen the road between Hazeldean and the Queensway. You may recall the traffic lights vs. roundabouts debate earlier this summer.
- CAMPEAU DRIVE: This one will be coming very soon, connecting all the way from near the Canadian Tire / Staples on Terry Fox Drive to the traffic circle at Huntmar.
- HUNTMAR DRIVE: Huntmar between Maple Grove and Campeau is scheduled to be widened to four lanes between 2026-2031, however development pressures may mean this project happens sooner. Expanding Huntmar to four lanes would include building a wider bridge over the Queensway, which currently is too narrow for sidewalks.
- FERNBANK ROAD: This road is scheduled to remain as two lanes until sometime after 2031 when it gets widened to four.
- MAPLE GROVE ROAD: The stretch from Huntmar to Terry Fox isn’t scheduled to be widened until after 2031. That’s a long wait to get infrastructure like sidewalks and bike lanes, given that this stretch connects two arenas (Bell Sensplex and Kanata Rec Centre), a major recreation facility (Walter Baker Park) and a growing residential neighbourhood (Fairwinds / Poole Creek Village).
- MAPLE GROVE/JOHNWOODS: Although not yet in any formal plans, it’s possible that Maple Grove could be opened to connect all the way to Jackson Trails. Once construction of Fairwinds West / Poole Creek Village is complete, another option is to close Johnwoods between Rosehill and Maple Grove, and convert it into a linear park.
- TERRY FOX DRIVE: The road will be expanded to four lanes between Winchester and Eagleson sometime after 2031.
WHAT ABOUT TRANSIT?
OC Transpo plans to expand the Transitway to include Robert Grant Avenue, including Park and Ride lots, after 2031.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The following high-level planning cost estimates are in 2013 dollars:
- North-South Arterial = $50M
- Kanata West Main Street (Stittsville Main Street extension) = $15M
- Terry Fox Drive widening = $53M
- Campeau Drive extension = $35M
- Huntmar widening = $56M
- Maple Grove widening = $16M
You can read more about the Transportation Master Plan on the city’s web site.