By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
The city and region may become trade partners in the near future – of roads that is.
In January 2016, the Region of Durham initiated a study with the purpose of identifying roads that may be suitable for downloading to local municipalities.
At the same turn, staff has also reviewed local roads that may be better suited to become the responsibility of the region.
The two sides had discussions over the first half of 2016, identifying 18 roads as candidates for transfer.
According to a staff report to regional council, there are currently 11 roads under consideration for transfer.
Of those, six are regional sections of road and five are local.
The seven other candidates have been marked for reconsideration in the future.
In December 2017, regional commissioner of works Susan Siopis told The Oshawa Express that some road transfers could potentially take place this year, although not necessarily in Oshawa.
Various criteria were used in the study to determine which roads were suitable candidates for transfer.
These included connectivity to provincial highways, volume of traffic traveling between multiple communities, ease of use, use for haulage of goods and possible effects on downtown or developed urban areas.
The most recent staff report notes that any potential transfers would depend on resources.
“The allocation of staff, equipment and funding are all considerations that may impact the timing of a transfer. A phased-in approach that allows for funding and resources to be allocated may be appropriate in specific situations,” the report reads.
Siopis says she doesn’t view road transfers as a cost-saving measure for Durham.
“I’ve never viewed it that way. It’s all about mutually agreeable transfers,” Siopis notes. “When you think about it, the region would maintain or even improve a road to a much different standard.”
According to Siopis, the financial implications of a transfer would depend on the specific road.
However, neither side is going to be caught off guard when it comes to costs.
“Information such as the annual operation and maintenance costs have been exchanged,” Siopis says. “In addition, we’ve also shared all our capital programming so we are all aware of what improvements may be proposed.”
Eleven roads in Oshawa, both local and regional, have been pegged as candidates for possible transfer.
Candidates for transfer to the City of Oshawa
– Regional Road 2 (Simcoe Street) from Harbour Road to 60 Wentworth Street (one km)
– Regional Road 3 (Winchester Road East/Grandview Street North) from 33 Harmony
Road to Columbus Road (2.6 km)
– Regional Road 35 (Wilson Road) from 22 Bloor Street to 28 Taunton Road (6.2 km)
– Regional Road 54 (Park Road) from 22 Bloor Street to 28 Rossland Road (4.3 km)
– Regional Road 52 (Boundary Road) from Wentworth Street West to Phillip Murray
Avenue (0.9 km)
– Regional Road 55 (Townline Road South) from Gord Vinson Avenue to Bloor Street
Candidates for transfer to the Region of Durham
– Harmony Road from Winchester Road to Grandview Street (2.6 km)
– King Street West from Oshawa/Whitby boundary to Centre Street (2.7 km)
– Bond Street West from King Street to Centre Street (1.8 km)
– King Street East from Ritson Road North to Townline Road (3.4 km)
– Bond Street East from Ritson Road North to King Street East (1.7 km)