A bypass to divert heavy truck traffic in the RM of Headingley won’t reduce the number of traffic accidents along the Trans-Canada Highway, according to Headingley mayor Wilf Taillieu.
He wants to have a median installed along the entire length of the highway that passes through the municipality. "In 1995, we had an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Highways on this," he said.
The provincial government’s Speech from the Throne, delivered on Nov. 12, mentioned "moving forward on a new bypass around Headingley to divert heavy truck traffic and enhance safety," and related this project to CentrePort Canada.
According to a statement from the province, details regarding the bypass will be made public in the coming weeks.
CentrePort Canada spokesperson Riva Harrison said they were aware that the provincial government was considering building a bypass that would connect with the soon-to-be opened CentrePort Canada Way, so the announcement is positive.
The owners of Headingley businesses located next to the Trans-Canada Highway say that they’ve heard rumours about the bypass for a few years, but aren’t worried about losing business if it’s built.
Headingley Husky Travel Centre owner Paul Marciniw said there won’t be any truck stops built along the bypass so truck drivers would still have to come into Headingley to fuel up, eat and use a rest stop.
House of Chrome owners Russell Dovzuk and James Lee sell light- and heavy-duty truck accessories at 5232 Portage Ave.
Dovzuk said he isn’t concerned about the potential effect of the bypass on their business.
"People know where we are," he said.
Construction began this fall on a two-year project to extend a service road and median and add a lighted intersection to the Trans-Canada Highway in Headingley, but Taillieu would like to see more money spent to improve traffic safety along this route, rather than paying between $100 and $150 million to build the bypass.
"It doesn’t calculate in my brain," he said.