By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Currently, Oshawa’s Harbour Road ends at Farewell Street. However, as part of a more than 40-year-old agreement The Oshawa Port Authority is looking to change that.
In a letter received by the city, OPA CEO and harbourmaster Donna Taylor notified council that the port would be looking to activate the agreement, signed between the city and the former Oshawa Harbour Commission in the late 1970s. The agreement stipulates that whenever the extension of Harbour Road occurs, the construction costs would be split 50/50 between the city and port.
However, the port is looking to carry out discussions with the city as to the extent of the road’s construction. While the agreement stipulates a full service roadway with curbs and gutters, Taylor notes that perhaps that part of the agreement could be revised.
“Since it’s going to be a joint venture when it is developed, it doesn’t need to be developed in such an expensive manner, which would be beneficial to the city and beneficial to us as well,” she says, noting that downscaling the road to a type of “laneway” could be more appropriate.
The end of Harbour Road also allows for access to the Second Marsh and the Waterfront Trail, access to which Taylor says will be maintained at all times.
The request for the extension comes at a time when the OPA is currently reviewing its options for repaying a $4.1 million arbitration award to FarmTech Energy, the company previously slated to build an ethanol plant on the Oshawa waterfront before the project was cancelled last year.
With that said, Taylor notes that the extension of Harbour Road is more related to its current operation as opposed to any new projects as business has accelerated in recent months.
“With all the business that we’ve attracted and everything that’s going on with the salt trucks and now the cement trucks and if we do some grain in the future…we’re getting really congested coming in and out of one entrance,” she says.
Most recently, McGinnis Cement began their operation at the port, which could see as many as 60 trucks moving in and out of the port each day.
“It’s all just really coming together,” Taylor says.
The letter from Taylor was referred back to staff for a further report.