Western Road to get a facelift

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

London City Council has voted to widen Western Road.

A recent poll by the South Central Ontario chapter of the Canadian Automobile Association voted Western Road the fourth worst road in Ontario.

The plan, passed last week, proposes adding a lane on each side of Western Road to limit congestion and improve the decaying road’s condition.

“I think it’s going to be terrific,” said Ward Six Councillor Nancy Branscombe, who voted for the project. “It’s the gateway to the community, so it’s got to look beautiful.”

“I think it’s a good idea for the city, and good for the university,” said Dave Riddell, Western’s associate vice-president of Physical Plant and Capital Planning.

Construction should begin this spring and be completed by September, though widening the Medway Creek bridge may take longer.

The construction will result in four lanes from Huron University College to Windermere Bridge.

“If you can picture the Huron College food service outlet...[the road will be expanded]...all the way to Medway Creek,” Riddell said.

A median, filled with planters and hung with banners promoting London or Western, will run between lanes.

Construction will be funded by Western and the City of London, though the city will cover the majority of the costs.

Several students said they look forward to the change.

“I think it will be a good thing, but I don’t know how much it’s going to cut down traffic,” said Andrew Howarth, a fourth-year management and organizational studies student. “I think it’s the lights. I always find people stall out on the lights, but I think [the change] should improve things.”

“As long as it doesn’t negatively impact student housing, [I think it’s a good idea],” said Jacqueline Cole, a management and organizational studies and political science student.

Continuing the expansion further down Western Road, all the way to the Richmond Road intersection, is also a possibility.

Branscombe hopes this improvement can be done concurrently with the present expansion, so “the neighborhood isn’t torn up twice.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette