The Transit Hub took another step closer to fruition today with this press release announcing that an agreement had been reached between CN Rail and the City to but the land for the open-air terminal. One wonders how things might have proceeded if an agreement hadn't reached, but I guess now we'll never know...
GUELPH, ON, January 26, 2010 – An agreement between CN Rail and the City of Guelph closed this week allowing the City to proceed with its plans for a new inter-modal transit terminal on Carden Street. The $1.5 million purchase allows work to resume on-site in the next four to six weeks.
The City now owns the land it needs to build the open-air transit terminal. The City already purchased the existing Greyhound station and plans to remove the building to make room for the new transit platform.
A pending agreement with VIA Rail is expected to transfer ownership of the VIA Rail station to the City of Guelph this summer. An estimated one-million-dollar interior renovation project will preserve the building’s National heritage status, improve accessibility, and allow the station to accommodate all VIA, Greyhound, GO Transit and Guelph Transit users. Interior renovations at the station are separate from the construction of the inter-modal transit terminal, and are not supported by Provincial or Federal funds. The work inside the VIA station is scheduled to be complete in 2012 as part of the City’s capital budget.
When the interior renovations are complete, the building will include five washrooms; three public washrooms for all users of Guelph Transit, GO Transit, Greyhound and VIA Rail, and two for personnel working at the facility.
"We’re preparing for the possibility of additional public washrooms in the future," says Rick Henry. "Underground water and wastewater services are being installed near the intersection of Macdonell Street and Carden Street. The exact location, design, construction plans and operating hours for potential future public washrooms have not been determined."
Access during construction
During construction, ticket sales and administration for Greyhound and GO bus service will be available in a temporary facility nearby.
Pedestrian access tunnels at Wyndham Street and Neeve Street will be closed during construction. Pedestrians will be directed to use Wilson Street, Wellington Street and Macdonell Street to travel between the north and south sides of the railway tracks during construction.
The Neeve Street tunnel will remain closed when the project is complete. The tunnel is considered part of the right-of-way governed by CN Rail and Goderich Exeter Railway, and the railways will not allow pedestrians to emerge from the tunnel on to the north rail platform. Also, as part of its agreement with CN Rail, the City was asked to install permanent fencing to prevent people from trespassing over the railway tracks. The fence will be installed when construction resumes in the next four to six weeks.
The eight-million dollar inter-modal transit terminal is one of 25 projects that make up the City’s Guelph Remastered infrastructure upgrade program which is funded in part by Provincial and Federal Infrastructure Stimulus Funds. The funding deadline for these projects was recently extended to October 31, 2011.