‘Continuous sidewalk’ added to Kitchener’s Highland Road

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Kitchener is taking a new approach to sidewalks with a “continuous” stretch along Highland Road East, one of the first of its kind in Ontario.

Highland Road in Kitchener has introduced a street design feature known as “continuous sidewalks”, one of the first in the province.

A continuous sidewalk does not dip down to meet the driveable road surface the same way a traditional sidewalk does. Instead, the sidewalk continues at an uninterrupted height and drivers turning onto the street will need to drive up a slight gradient.

The road also features tactile plates to help signify the crossing to anyone who is visually impaired.

Highland Road East was chosen for the new kind of sidewalk because it was already under construction. Sousa Construction has started the next phase of the Highland Road East reconstruction project, between Delaware Ave and Stirling Ave South with some additional surface works happening on Delaware Ave. Currently the entire project is scheduled for completion by July.

kitchener sidewalkAlso, three new pedestrian refuge islands were added to provide a crossing every 150 metres, making it easier to cross the street to access public transit. At the signalized intersection at Spadina Rd. E., the right turn channels were removed to slow turning speeds and make more direct pedestrian crossings.

“I’m pleased to see a road reconstruction project so directly benefiting neighbourhood residents,” said Ward 9 Councillor Debbie Chapman. “The reconstruction of Highland Road is a great example of how we can address our transportation goals while improving residents’ experience on our roadways.”

The most immediately recognizable change on Highland Rd is the addition of fully separated cycle tracks and new boulevard space.

“The project on Highland Rd is a great example of our new approach to road reconstruction, our commitment to traffic safety, and our adoption of world-class design standards,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Our ‘complete streets’ guidelines are an important framework that ensures that the streets we are building, and the existing streets that we’re reconstructing both represent the highest standard, ensuring that everyone in our community can get to where they’re going safely.”

The remainder of the Highland Road reconstruction has resumed, completing the section between Delaware and Stirling streets.


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