May 23, 2007

The Regional Municipality of York receives Prestigious APWA award for St. John's Sideroad project


Innovative project garners American Public Works Association Project of the Year honours


NEWMARKET The American Public Works Association (APWA) has awarded The Regional Municipality of York its 2007 Project of the Year Award in the transportation category (projects $10-$100 million in scope) for the St. John's Sideroad/McKenzie Wetland Improvement project in the Town of Aurora.


The APWA is an international association of public agencies, private sector companies and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services.


"The innovative work that went into the redesign of St. John's Sideroad and the McKenzie Marsh clearly demonstrates that road improvement and environmental enhancement can be successfully combined into one venture," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "I am very pleased to see that all the hard work that went into the project is being recognized by such a highly regarded organization as the APWA."


The St. John's Sideroad/McKenzie Wetland Improvement project is a $20 million endeavour that took two years to construct.  It involved the widening of a two-lane road to four lanes and the installation of sewers and watermains.  The project was particularly challenging since St. John's Sideroad divides the local McKenzie Wetland Complex, a permanent home to numerous animal species and fish.


After extensive consultation with the Town of Aurora, local residents and environmental groups, York Region took the opportunity to enhance the marsh along with the road, watermain and sewer installation.  In doing so, the Region developed an innovative boardwalk design that separates the roadway from the marsh, while improving flow between the marsh's two segmented portions.


"The success of the St. John's Sideroad project can be attributed to the open communications and partnerships between York Region, the Town of Aurora and the many interested stakeholders who were involved," said Town of Aurora Mayor Phyllis Morris.  "By directly engaging the members of our community we accomplished a great deal, both in terms of community development and environmental protection."


The award will be presented at the APWA annual Awards Recognition Ceremony in September.


The APWA award is the second honour York Region has received for the St. John's Sideroad/McKenzie Wetland Improvement project. In January, the Region won Project of the Year honours in the environmental category from the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA), the Ontario branch of the APWA.


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For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit


Media Contact:         Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region

                                 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 1232 or Cell (905) 251-6419


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