Avonmore Road won’t open until spring: Bancroft

In this September 2017, file photo, a crane drops a load of metal on the deck of the Avonmore Road overpass at Highway 401. South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft says he has it under good authority the overpass won't reopen until the spring. It was originally supposed to be open by mid-November.(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – The mayor of South Stormont says a stretch of Avonmore Road over Highway 401, in his municipality, won’t open until the spring.

“My discussions on the weekend through a person I know quite well is that County Road 15 will not be opening again until the spring,” Jim Bancroft told county council Monday.

The news drew a loud exhale and tsks from other councillors.

Bancroft said he had been told the asphalt plants had shut down for the season and the company, Cruickshank Construction of Kingston, would have to bring in and stockpile asphalt in the spring.

“I can’t say who told me but I’m reasonably comfortable that my information is correct,” the South Stormont mayor added.

“I’ll be open and blunt. I’m not happy. It’s our municipality that is being nailed with these (closures) back to back to back,” Jim Bancroft said, referring to upcoming closures of County Roads 12 and 36.

SD&G Roads and Planning Engineer Ben de Haan somewhat corroborated that timeline, telling council the Avonmore Road overpass was supposed to be completed by mid-November, then by Christmas and now the Ministry of Transportation is not giving a completion date.

With the province’s “bad chapter” with SD&G, the county is withdrawing its support to allow the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to close a section of County Road 36 (Post Road) next year for a bridge replacement on Highway 401.

“They’re not going to be surprised to get this letter,” de Haan added.

After discussing the situation, council agreed to also withdraw its previous support to close County Road 12 (Wales Drive) for a bridge replacement.

Bancroft said he was more concerned about County Road 36 being closed than County Road 12, while County Road 15 was out of commission. “I think we should have something to say because we’re going to be impacted significantly especially from emergency services as well it’s going to be an issue. Hopefully 15 will be done at that time.”

Some councillors conceded the province may just move ahead anyway with its construction projects without the county’s blessing.