Wellington Connector construction on schedule; Fall 2021 target for opening

The Wellington Connector is set to be open to traffic by fall 2022. (TIR photo)

WELLINGTON: Construction of the Wellington/Aerotech Connector is on schedule, says a Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal spokeswoman.

Marla MacInnis was responding to an Oct. 11 inquiry from The Laker to TIR about the status of the project and where it stands. An Environmental Assessment was filed in September, and a decision from the Minister of Environment is expected this fall.

“The project is running on schedule,” said MacInnis. “Construction is expected to start next year, pending environmental assessment approval.”

The Connector was greeted with much fanfare on March 2, 2017 when Liberal MPs Darrell Samson and Sean Fraser joined MLA Bill Horne for the announcement at the Wellington-Fletchers Lake Station House.

At that presser, it was announced that the feds are contributing $10 million to the construction of the Wellington/Aerotech Connector; while the province is contributing $11.2 million to cover the $21 million project. It will be five kilometres in length, and include two roundabouts, one of which is near Sunylea Drive.

In an April 17, 2019 public open house in Wellington, residents voiced concerns of blasting impact on residents wells in Oaken Hills; noise from transport trucks along the road; impact on the environment; and the speed limit.

Officials from TIR provided answers to many residents questions as well as heard concerns. There was also a spot to leave feedback and drop it in a box for TIR to consider as they look at what improvements can be made, if any.

MacInnis said a list of concerns and comments from the open house were compiled and reviewed by the department.

“The department’s general construction/maintenance practices will mitigate most concerns,” she said.

No further consultations are planned at this time, said MacInnis.

There had been questions from some in the community on whether transit options would be possible as part of the new connector. MacInnis doused any hopes of that possibility.

“Park and ride/transit options are not part of the project at this time,” she said.

At the April 2019 meeting, a timeline for the work was posted and it indicated that clearing work will take place between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020; subgrade and structure work will take place Spring 2020 to Fall 2020; with paving and roundabouts being constructed Spring 2021 to Fall 2021.

The Wellington/Aerotech Connector is expected to be open to traffic by Fall 2021, said MacInnis.