PORT HAWKESBURY: Marking the beginning of the Destination Reeves Street plan for active transportation, a new bridge has been installed to create a complete street, which will see Reeves Street transformed to a street for people and all the ways they move.

The attractive structure designed and fabricated through a collaboration of WSP, Strait Engineering, Mulgrave Machine Works, and the Town of Port Hawkesbury was installed on October 22.

“The new bridge was designed to welcome residents home and to make a positive impression with visitors to our town,” said Destination Reeves Street committee chair and Port Hawkesbury CAO Terry Doyle. “The Reeves Street committee worked extremely hard with the WSP designers so the end result is something our town can be proud of.”

Destination Reeves Street is an elaborate project that will position the town for growth through improvements to business façade, streetscapes, way-finding and signage, and the active transportation lane. The current plan for Reeves Street includes reconstructing the busy four-lane roadway down to three vehicle lanes along with an active transportation and greenspace lane.

In addition to improving the physical appearance of the street, components of the project flag concerns about road safety, in which during its peak sees 13,000 vehicles a day travelling along Reeves Street.

Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton remains optimistic about the positive transformation Destination Reeves Street will bring to the town.

“For more than three decades past councils have recognized the need for safe active transportation infrastructure to NSCC. The time is now to remedy this long-overdue challenge, to connect more than one thousand students and staff, as well as residents of Embree Island to our town,” she said. “As we progress forward with Destination Reeves Street, Port Hawkesbury will truly be a place where everyone can feel connected and belong and where everyone can enjoy Reeves Street safely, whether as a pedestrian, on a bike, or in a vehicle.”

Termed as a greenway trail, the active transportation pathway will go slightly off road from Reeves Street to create a more pleasant, accessible paved surface to traverse for trail users. It will be well-lit and will incorporate the existing natural beauty of Grants Pond and Long Pond, and will be of practical use for students to safely connect them to NSCC.

Tom Gunn, principal of NSCC’s Strait Area Campus, noted the campus has been operating since 1987 without a safe active transportation lane connecting the campus to the town; something he said has been a challenge.

“The Greenway Trail will provide an attractive safe connection to the rest of the town for NSCC students,” he said. “Safety and active transportation are top priorities for the campus.”