CORNWALL, Ontario – The chances of Highway 138 becoming a four-lane thoroughfare, or even seeing a bypass created, appears to be slim and none according to a presentation made at city hall Monday night.
City councillors heard from consultants and Ministry of Transportation officials during a regular meeting where they were told a study is being completed on possible improvements for the dangerous stretch of roadway that has seen plenty of high-profile accidents.
But the list of improvements stops at intersection augmentation and the introduction of turning lanes, passing lanes and carpool parking areas.
“We are looking at the existing 138 corridor as a two-lane facility…we’re not looking at expanding to a four-lane facility and we’re not looking at a bypass,” said Greg Cooke, project manager with consulting firm Stantec Design.
The Ministry of Transportation is in the midst of reviewing safety improvements for Highway 138.
The study will include public engagement through community gatherings, online feedback and attendance at area council meetings as ministry officials gather details to someday make adjustments to 35 km of road that has seen people killed in tragic automobile accidents.
Motorists have long complained that other drivers speed along Highway 138 and there are too few areas to safely pass.
“This has been a problem in this area for a long, long time,” said Coun. Bernadette Clement.
Coun. Claude McIntosh advocated for the introduction of passing lanes.
“I look at Highway 2 between here and Ingleside and I think the traffic flow is about the same,” he said. “But the big difference between the two is the heavy transport traffic. You can get stuck behind one of those things…and people take chances pulling out. The extra lanes really help.
“That would be a huge improvement.”
The ministry is putting together a plan for improving the highway and addressing future operational needs of the 138.
The ministry has created a website, highway138study.ca, where residents can learn more about the work and offer feedback.
A public meeting is taking place June 15 at the Cornwall Township Lions Club, 17413 McPhail Road, from 4 to 8 p.m.