The decision to permanently close a portion of Spadina Crescent West will be up for debate Tuesday night.
A public hearing will be held following a city council meeting to consider two potential road closures near the water treatment plant.
“We’re the only water treatment plant – as I’m aware of – in North America that has a road running right down the middle of it,” Mayor Charlie Clark told 650 CKOM Tuesday.
The city is first proposing to close the intersection at Avenue H South and 11th Street – an area that would eventually become part of the treatment plant and off limits to the public.
“This is the water treatment plant that serves the entire region, and we want to make sure that there’s no concerns of that being contaminated or foul play of any kind,” Clark said.
The mayor pointed to an independent analysis of the water treatment plant done by Public Safety Canada last year. It determined the preferred option is for the road to be closed permanently.
The city is concerned, however, about detoured drivers going through residential areas. It’s also proposing to permanently close the portion of Spadina Crescent West from Gordie Howe Bridge to where the Holiday Park neighbourhood starts.
“That is so once Avenue H and 11th Street is closed, you don’t drive a whole bunch of traffic through that neighbourhood on the way in,” Clark said.
“These are the different balancing acts we need to consider, but safety and security is a primary one in this consideration and it’s not being taken lightly,” he said.
If the closure happens, drivers will have to use Valley Road instead.
Clark noted the majority of commuters use the interchange already. He said a city report found daily traffic along that section of Spadina Crescent West averages 600 vehicles during the summer, and 200 in the winter.
The mayor said Spadina closure would also benefit the Meewasin Valley Authority trail system.
“Right now, it’s the only section of the MVA trail system that doesn’t have a separated pathway, which would be in the millions of dollars to build,” he said.
The mayor said there is a longer term consideration of where the detoured traffic will go, noting most of it will move to 20th and 22nd streets, with potential for 17th Street to eventually have a more direct route to Avenue P.
A public report outlining the different options and highlighting the issues will be on the city council agenda prior to the hearing. The debate starts at 6 p.m.