Project Overview

The City of Cambridge is currently undertaking a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) Study to consider the development of a trail and pedestrian bridge spanning the Speed River to connect the communities of Blair and Preston.  Routes are being considered through lands owned by the rare Charitable Research Reserve. 

The Study will follow Schedule B of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Municipal Engineers Association, October 2000, as amended in 2007, 2011, & 2015), which is an approved process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. The MCEA process includes: consultation with agencies, stakeholders, Indigenous communities and public; an evaluation of alternative solutions to address the problem; an alternative design concepts for the preferred solution; an assessment of potential environmental impacts; and, identification of reasonable measures to mitigate any potential adverse impacts.  At the conclusion of the Study, a Project File Report (PFR) will be prepared for public review.

Updates will be posted to this web page throughout the duration of the project.  To receive an email when an update is posted, click subscribe at the bottom of this page.


All studies, field work and public consultation necessary to complete the MCEA are now completed and a draft report is being assembled. It is anticipated the report will be brought to Cambridge Council in the Summer 2023 for endorsement.

Progress to Date

  • Seasonal ecological analysis and field work is completed
  • Stage 1 and 2 Archaeological analysis and field work is completed
  • Indigenous consultation process is in the final stages
  • Public consultation completed
  • Hydraulic analysis completed
  • Geotechnical analysis completed
  • Preliminary bridge schematic design and cost estimate underway
  • Draft Environmental Assessment report underway

Upcoming Work

  • Completion of draft Environmental Assessment report
  • Presentation to Cambridge Council for endorsement December 2023
  • Project File Report (PFR) 

Study Area

The proposed trail and bridge will connect the B. McMullen Linear Trail to the existing multi-use trail on Fountain Street by crossing over the Speed River upstream of its confluence with the Grand River.  The bridge and trail will provide a major off-road connection to downtown Preston as well as a connection to the HWY 401 pedestrian bridge linking Cambridge to Kitchener and the Doon area.  The Study evaluates alternative trail routes and bridge locations with consideration for the natural, cultural, economic and technical environments, and recommends a preferred solution in consultation with the public, Indigenous communities and regulatory agencies.  An option to “do nothing” has also been considered. 

The site location and approximate extent of the Study Area are shown within the map

Get Involved

Public input is an important component of the decision-making process. A public survey was undertaken in the fall 2020. All the comments that were received will be included in the final report and form part of the public record. The public presentation materials can be viewed at the link below.

Public Presentation Materials

Contact Information

Jamie Croft, M.A. Sc., P. Eng.
Manager of Infrastructure Engineering
Engineering & Transportation Services
Community Development
T: 519-623-1340 ext. 4761 


Tricia Radburn
R.J. Burnside & Associates Ltd.  
292 Speedvale Avenue West, Unit 20
Guelph, ON N1H 1C4
T: 226-486-1778