Design work proposed for Sunningdale overhaul

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Gravel shoulders and ditches would be replaced by sidewalks and space for cyclists in a proposed overhaul of Sunningdale Road.

City council’s civic works committee will be asked Monday to approve a $768,000 design contract with Aecom Canada to transform the five-kilometre stretch of Sunningdale from Wonderland Road to Adelaide Street into a north-end destination.

“This area is transitioning from rural to urban. It’s becoming part of the city and becoming a neighbourhood,” said Doug MacCrae, manager of transportation planning and design.

“The goal of this project is to make it a much more comfortable corridor for neighbourhood-type uses like walking and cycling.”

The long-term Sunningdale Road redevelopment is unfolding in three parts. The first, the roundabout at Wonderland and Sunningdale, already is complete.

If approved by the civic works committee and council, consultants will begin designing the second and third parts of the estimated $46-million overhaul.

Though construction on phase two isn’t set to begin until 2020, it’s not stopping the city from getting down to work.

“We need to design and move utilities and co-ordinate property acquisitions. There’s a whole lot of work that needs to be done up front,” MacCrae said.

An oil pipeline might need to be moved, he said.

“It is a complicated project.”

The design plans will include a new bridge over Medway Creek with a pedestrian path under Sunningdale Road. There will be better street lighting, and better sightlines on the road when the project is complete.

Sunningdale Road, part of the city since 1993, is close to the London’s northern border. The area has changed by 24 years of development, but the next stage shouldn’t be rushed, MacRae said.

“It’s a lot of improvements, so we need to get it done one phase at a time.”

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