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By Kristen Frisa
Ontario Construction News staff writer
A much-needed parking structure is on its way in Guelph, to be located in the Wilson Street parking lot at the southwest corner of Wilson and Carden Streets. The lot will address a current shortage of spaces in the city with room for 350 vehicles, and will also include bicycle parking spaces, electric vehicle charging stations, and elevators.
The project includes an upgrade to Wilson Street between Gordon Street and Macdonell Street including repaving and sidewalk improvements, and the addition of bike lanes when the street is rebuilt after watermain, sanitary, and storm sewers are replaced.
The Norfolk pedestrian bridge will be replaced in the process, too. The parkade will give access directly onto the new bridge.
The work is being undertaken by the Newton Group and WalterFedy.
According to the City of Guelph’s Parking Masterplan, current parking capacity is not meeting demand. Parking lots are at capacity during the daytime, and there is a waiting list 150 names strong for permits, while daytime and event parking spills over into neighbouring streets.
Meanwhile, the number of people who live and work in the downtown is expected to double in the next 16 years, while parking infrastructure hasn’t increased since 1983. The plan estimates that an additional 1,300 to 1,700 new spots are needed by 2031, even if some drivers begin using public transit or other green transportation methods.
Following the new Wilson Street parkade, the plan expects to undertake a new 250-stall parkade at Neeve Street.