Major Step Forward for Canadian Motor Speedway – Key Stakeholders Provide Full Support & Input to Finalize CMS Traffic Management Plan
Fort Erie, Ontario – Another major milestone was reached by the Canadian Motor Speedway’s (CMS) development team this week, as major stakeholders involved in the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) provided their support and final input on the implementation of this unprecedented document.
The goal of the meeting was to move closer to a conclusion of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) final process to approve the TMP with a final review and consensus by key entities involved in the traffic management process for major events to be held at CMS. Development of the framework for the TMP consisted of several years of in-depth discussions with specific agencies responsible for traffic, transit, emergency services, border crossings and the QEW corridor which will traverse CMS’s eastern gates.
The Wednesday January 27th meeting, facilitated by The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport at the 4-Points Sheraton Hotel in St. Catharines included The Ministry of Transportation of The Province of Ontario, The Niagara Region, The Town of Fort Erie, Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC), Canada Border Services Agency, Department of Homeland Security plus stakeholders related to traffic management on the ground in Niagara including the Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara Regional Police Service and Niagara Emergency Medical Services.
All of the listed organizations will have a role to play at various levels for CMS events, particularly when attendance exceeds 15,000 patrons to ensure a safe and fluid ingress / egress experience for all attendees. The high profile meeting also addressed issues that have historically surfaced at other similar facilities to assess and consider the best methods of management utilizing the latest technology.
All stakeholders have shown tremendous support of the CMS development since initial discussions and the generation of the Traffic Management Plan.
Canadian Motor Speedway Partner and Executive Director, Azhar Mohammad says the meeting was a huge positive step forward for CMS. “The level of individuals participating in this unprecedented meeting was exceptional. Everyone came with the objective to arrive at a consensus on the Traffic Management Plan. We reviewed the key issues related to the execution of the TMP strategy, and everyone offered solutions that will further refine our TMP. We have committed to incorporate today’s points and issue the finalized plan to complete the TMP approval process in a matter of weeks. We have arrived at a traffic management plan that everyone will spring-board from. It validates the efforts we’ve invested in to date on determining the best practices to effectively manage the traffic component of our facility. We were equally pleased to learn that the MTO has begun its process to replace the Bowen Road interchange which concludes a two year joint evaluation process by CMS and the MTO. “
CMS Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Abou Taleb offered, “Our success has always been through the integration and consultation with all levels of government. The assembly validates the interest and support CMS has received from so many agencies that are committed to helping us achieve our objectives – by providing a safe and efficient mobilization plan that has truly captured the experiences of everyone involved in our TMP.”
Tom Kuchyt, Chief Administrative Officer, The Town of Fort Erie was very pleased with the outcome. “This was a great and very exciting day for The Town of Fort Erie and Canadian Motor Speedway. There are major hurdles in projects of this size. Getting through planning approval stages, getting infrastructure to the site, and certainly traffic management are the three main areas. We’ve had many meetings with the MTO to discuss the traffic management plan. We’re just now crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. This was a fabulous group at this meeting. All the stakeholders came together to get a consensus on moving forward, and we’re very close. The MTO, Border Customs, the OPP, The Niagara Region, everybody participated. I think everybody left this meeting in support of the CMS Traffic Management Plan.”
CMS is now in the process of formal submission of its site plan to The Town of Fort Erie which incorporates the parameters established in the TMP. Approvals are expected over the next few months.
Meanwhile, the orientation of the ¾ mile oval track on the site has been finalized, while 4-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon continues to work with CMS architects (IBI Group) on design refinements.
The plan is still on schedule to have permits issued to allow heavy equipment back on the site this summer for major excavation, with opening projected for 2018 barring approval delays.