The completion of Clappison Avenue, which the city had hoped to complete by the end of November, has been delayed by an unlikely culprit — turtles.
The roadway, which will connect Dundas Street and Parkside Drive, from Boston Pizza to the new Stryker building, is now slated to be completed in spring 2019, said Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge.
She noted the city had hoped to have a prefabricated bridge installed to complete the connecting stretch of the roadway, but nesting turtles in the construction area caused a setback.
“They had moved all this earth and created these big mounds,” she said of the construction process. “Our area has a lot of sandy soil, and turtles decided to nest in these big mounds of dirt.
“They couldn’t do anything because of the turtle eggs that were there.”
She added the Ministry of Environment put a stop to construction because of the eggs, holding up the process for three months.
“I was a little bit frustrated we couldn’t get Clappison Avenue done for November,” she said. “But it will be done now in the spring.”
In addition, Sally Yong-Lee, the City of Hamilton’s manager of infrastructure planning, said there was also some archeology work that needed to be done in the area.
“For the most part, the road has been built to service the new Stryker building,” she said, adding the northern portion is not currently a municipal road. “It’s strictly an extra-wide driveway access for Stryker at this present time.
“Ultimately, it will become a municipal road.”
Yong-Lee noted that the next phase of construction will connect the section next to Stryker to the existing portion of the road, and that Clappison Drive will eventually be a four-lane construction.
Partridge said the roadway is important for traffic flow — particularly to get traffic off Hollybush Drive — and is key for businesses in the area, such as No Frills and Stryker.
“It’s an essential part of the agreements they signed to locate there — having that drive open,” she said of the two businesses.