AlphaStreet 16Mar23 OpComm JohnSlocombe
Project manager John Slocombe leads the operations committee of Owen Sound
council through the finer points of the two-year Alpha Street reconstruction.


– by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

The Alpha Street reconstruction is the next and biggest infrastructure project on the City's list.

The City held a "discretionary meeting" during the Operations Committee meeting to inform the public and hear what they had to say.

AlphaStreet 15Mar23 fromeastJohn Slocombe of GM Blue Plan Engineering presented the work that been done to date. The two slopes, the hydro corridor, groundwater flow and soils were all part of initial background studies.

The project's goal is not only to improve the road surface and underground infrastructure, but to meet the City's transportation goals for cars, trucks, public transit, cyclists and pedestrians. 

Options the firm considered include a slow uphill truck lane, a dedicated bike lane and a new sidewalk on the west side of the road. Considering factors like the impacts beyond the right of way and the hydro corridor, the cut into the slope, and costs, none of these were recommended by the engineers. 

Slocombe said the most favourable option would be a multi-use two-directional active transportation trail on the east, the left side looking up the hill, for pedestrians, cyclists and those using mobility devices. It would have the least encroachment into areas previously not disturbed, fit in the 12.5 metre right of way, and the hydro poles and corridor could remain.

It would also be the lowest cost in a project that is budgeted at $8.5 to 9 million.

This recommendation will be subject to further input from the Committee and the public.

Local long-time residents came to the microphone to voice their concerns, including the impact of noise, vibration and dirt from current heavy truck traffic, and the safety of existing houses during construction.

They want a bench – a rest stop up the steep hill – and safe intersections for students going to St. Basil's School and others. 


AlphaStreet 16Mar23 OpComm JohnSlocombe
All seats were taken for the public information meeting of Owen Sound
council's Operations committee as options above and beyond the complete
reconstruction of Alpha Street were presented. The two-year project
involves replacement of all water, sewer and road infrastructure.
AlphaStreet 16Mar23 OpComm listening


Slocombe said he expected preliminary drawings would be available for the public to see this fall, with tenders going out for Phase 1 – the construction of the hill itself – going out in March 2024 for work that spring and summer.

The work at the top of the hill would follow in 2025.


AlphaStreet 16Mar23 OpComm JohnSlocombe
Vehicular traffic on Alpha Street ranges from e-bikes to heavily-laden transport trucks,
from scooters to school buses. Pedestrian and bicycle usage adds to the mix.
AlphaStreet 15Mar23 from6thAveW


You can watch the whole meeting, including the Alpha Street discussion, here. Click on the agenda item that interests you, and the video will start there.

– Hub photographs by David Galway







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