Council votes to pave three roads in Arkell instead of Sideroad 10

Mayor: 'I truly believe the people on Sideroad 10 need a reprieve'

ABERFOYLE 50ȻƵ Puslinch council decided the next gravel roads to be paved in the township are Carter, Cooks Mill and Farnham roads, all located in Arkell.

The decision was contrary to the staff recommendation to pave Sideroad 10 South first.

Sideroad 10 is the gravel road many commuters are using as a detour until the bridge on Wellington Road 35 is repaired and reopened.

But councillor Sara Bailey and Mayor James Seeley made persuasive arguments in favour of the Arkell roads that swayed the rest of council.

Director of public works, parks and facilities Mike Fowler presented a report at the June 12 council meeting with background on three stretches of gravel roads up for consideration for paving:

  • option one, Sideroad 10 South from Gore Road to Concession 1 at an estimated cost of $1.14 million;
  • option two, Sidreoad 10 North from Concession 1 to Concession 2 at a cost of $780,000; and
  • option three, the three roads in Arkell 50ȻƵ Carter Road from Arkell Road to Cooks Mill Road, Farnham Road from Arkell Road to Carter Road, and Cooks Mill Road from Carter Road to the bridge, at an estimated combined cost of $1.14 million.

Staff recommended 0ption one as it would add an additional north-south paved route in the area.

50ȻƵPresently, County Road 35 serves as the main commuter route, with Concession 7 serving as an alternative paved option,50ȻƵ Fowler stated in the report.

Councillors Jessica Goyda, John Sepulis and Russel Hurst were in favour of the staff recommendation.

50ȻƵIt would address the north-south traffic. And it would help residents (on Sideroad 10). That road has been really beat up,50ȻƵ Goyda said.

Bailey said it appears as though there are 60 to 70 driveways on the roads in Arkell, compared with just 26 driveways on Sideroad 10 South and with 21 on Sideroad 10 North.

She lobbied for the Arkell roads to be paved, arguing it would benefit more residents and there is natural traffic calming with a single lane bridge that forces drivers to slow down.

Seeley noted paving roads often encourages more traffic and speeding and once the bridge on Wellington Road 35 reopens, traffic on Sideroad 10 will subside 50ȻƵ but not if it50ȻƵs paved.

50ȻƵThose residents need a break,50ȻƵ he said. 50ȻƵWe should return it to gravel so less people use it.

50ȻƵThe bridge won50ȻƵt fail again in our lifetime so there should not be a need for a north/south bypass,50ȻƵ he continued.

Seeley also said pushing the Arkell roads lower on the list will only increase the cost of paving when the township can circle back to them.

Wellington County, meanwhile, has agreed in principle to pay some of the cost to rehabilitate Sideroad 10 to gravel because of the detour.

50ȻƵBut there50ȻƵs been no discussion (with the county) on paving Sideroad 10,50ȻƵ Fowler said.

Seeley also noted Sideroad 10 goes through a wetland.

Earlier in the meeting a delegation spoke to council about the importance of building safe turtle crossing, nesting and basking areas along roadways in wetland areas to protect the turtle population.

Council had agreed to develop a strategy for road work in wetland areas that might include turtle fences and other protections.

50ȻƵIf we put Sideroad 10 later, that gives us time to develop a strategy,50ȻƵ Seeley said. 50ȻƵI truly believe the people on Sideroad 10 need a reprieve.50ȻƵ

With that discussion, council was swayed and voted unanimously to pave the three roads in Arkell. The work is slated for 2026.