Huntington Ave. to Stay Open as Cabana Road Work Set to Begin

Reconstruction of Cabana Rd. in Windsor is ready to roll, full steam ahead.

Work will begin Monday June 10 on Phase Two of the project which is Cabana Rd. from west of Howard Ave. to west of Dougall Ave.

City council has opted to go against an administrative recommendation to turn the south end of Huntington Ave. into a cul-de-sac.

Administration had proposed the change to reduce the number of conflict points on Cabana, but the councillor for the ward, Kieran McKenzie, says residents in the area were fully against the idea.

He says he doesn't believe closing Huntington would affect public safety as traffic volumes on the street aren't very high.

"The overwhelming majority of the residents in the neighbourhood were strongly opposed," says McKenzie. "What I found out is there isn't a cut through traffic problem on Huntington and even if you look at the data in the administration report, it showed that the traffic volumes are very consistent with the number of homes, which to me showed it's all residential traffic that's coming through the neighbourhood."

Senior Engineer with the City of Windsor, Jane He, says council did vote against her departments recommendation.

"Council reviewed the report and decided differently and we will respect council's decision and we will implement that Huntginton St. will remain open," she says.

McKenzie says administration was using an environmental assessment study that was completed in 2006.

"Administration knew that there were a number of residents that were opposed to this," he says. "In fairness, they were looking at applying a best practice principle with respect to conflict points, but when you really dug into that data it just was evident to me that it was trying to solve a problem that didn't exist and was going to create other problems in the neighbourhood."

McKenzie says moving the additional traffic to the adjacent Ouellette and Inglewood Avenues wouldn't be fair to those neighbourhoods either.

"All you're doing is you're redirecting that traffic. All of those vehicles still need to exit the neighbourhood," he says. "So you're going to have the same number of conflicts. I just didn't feel like it was a strong enough reason to close a street when the residents of that neighbourhood were so strongly and overwhelmingly opposed."

Phase One of the project included the section of Cabana, west of Provincial Rd. to west of Howard Ave.  Phase Two which includes widening the road from two lanes to four is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The entire project from Huron Church Rd. to Walker Rd. is expected to cost $45-million.

City Engineer Jane He, says it will be temporary pain for permanent gain and she's really hoping people can be patient.

 

With files from Kristylee Varley