Pincourt announces sports complex completion and Duhamel conversion to one-way street
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The Town of Pincourt is planning on converting Duhamel Road between Boulevard Cardinal Léger and 5th Avenue into a one-way street with a bicycle and pedestrian path running alongside the Ottawa River.
The long-awaited Pincourt Sports Complex will finally become a reality, announced Mayor Yvan Cardinal during his presentation on state of the town’s financial status at the Tuesday evening council meeting, November 10.
The completion of the sports complex by Groupe Thibault and Associates, along with the town’s ambitious project to reconfigure a large section of Duhamel Street that runs along the shore of the Ottawa River and turn it into a one-way street with bicycle and pedestrian paths along the riverside figured prominently as part of the town’s upcoming triennial program for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The completion of the town’s sports complex brings to an end a 15-year saga that originally pitted the first developers of the project against the municipality.
Most recently, a legal dispute between Groupe Thibault and a private consortium led by Alexander Burrows in 2014 halted renovation of the sports complex until a Quebec Appeals Court ruling in July that sided with Groupe Thibault. The Burrows group had planned on building their own sports complex in neighbouring Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot.
The resolution of the conflict between Thibault and Burrows means the project will finally be realized, Mayor Yvan Cardinal told Your Local Journal after the meeting. “I’m very happy especially for our citizens who will finally have access to a modern sports facility.
“It’s about time that we will have this kind of centre to serve the needs of our citizens and the island’s population of over 45,000 people,” Cardinal added. “I’m glad that all the conflicts between the different parties are finally over and resolved. Now we can move forward in a positive way.”
Town Manager Michel Perrier said renovation work on the new sports centre that will feature an ice hockey rink will begin in early 2016 and is expected to be completed by the start of the 2016-17 hockey season.
“There’s about five months of work to be done to complete the facility so by the end of next August, it should be up and running,” said Perrier. “It’s definitely a big plus for the community and we’re ecstatic over the announcement.”
The town will also embark on an ambitious program to convert and reconfigure Duhamel Road from a two-way artery into a one way street between Boulevard Cardinal-Léger and 5th Avenue. The revamped road will also feature a bicycle and pedestrian path with planned access to the shoreline along portions of land that are owned by the town.
“Duhamel will be a large project,” said Perrier. “We plan to reconstruct a fairly large section of the road in 2017, but first we’re going to have a trial period next year where we’re going to convert the road into a one-way street with a portion of the road becoming a type of boardwalk and path for bicycles and pedestrians along the riverside.”
Cardinal said the town expects there will be some opposition to the plan, but added there was also opposition several years ago when the town closed off a portion of Duhamel between 9th Avenue and Avenue Mgr Langlois at Bellevue Park and turned it into an exclusive bike and pedestrian path.
“The end result is that when we closed the street, there have been more people coming to the park since then and they enjoy having unrestricted access to the river,” said Cardinal. “We want to do the same thing with this new proposal, to make Duhamel more user-friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians.”
“The traffic volume on Duhamel has diminished quite dramatically,” Cardinal added. “Duhamel is the only access point to the river. We’re on an island and this is where the river is most accessible for most of our population.”
Perrier said the town will prepare an information blitz before the change is implemented in 2016. “We’re going to have a lot of information available for our residents before we make the change,” he said. “Duhamel was once a major and important part of our road system. Now it’s considered more of secondary street because of the development of Cardinal Léger, Boulevard de l’Île and other streets in the town.”