PUSLINCH – Puslinch’s mayor said he’s optimistic the long-awaited Morriston bypass will go ahead in the near future.
The province recently released a virtual public information centre outlining the plan for the new highway intended to be a more efficient link between Hamilton and Guelph.
Proposed is a new four-lane Highway 6 that goes from Maddaugh Road to the 401, diverting a large percentage of traffic that would normally drive through Morriston.
Mayor James Seeley said he’s confident the project will be moving ahead.
He noted that the province may be more vocal about other highway projects but the Morriston bypass seems further along.
“They’re doing the public information meeting, they have the virtual flyover which shows how the whole project will look and I feel that puts a feather in our cap that this is still a priority for the province and it will go forward,” Seeley said. “They’re still acquiring land but that’s a benefit as well.”
Seeley stressed he didn’t want to speak poorly of the project but did note a few concerns that could be addressed.
He said he’d like to see emergency exit points for traffic similar to ones seen on western portions of Highway 401.
“I would want the same for the section between Maddaugh Road and the current 401 because if there’s an accident, the people are stuck there especially if it’s a divided highway,” Seeley said.
He also said the province should zone the lands adjacent to the new highway as future development or employment lands as they would be ideal for commercial use.
The public information centre claims this project could reduce traffic in Morriston and Aberfoyle from 50 per cent to as much as 90 per cent depending on the section.
Seeley said this is a double-edged sword because some traffic may drive business in town.
“If that reduction is a large reduction in commercial vehicles that just pass through the township, fantastic,” Seeley said. “We have to find a happy balance, keep enough traffic to support our local businesses and not impact our lives drastically.”
Seeley said he knows some people are pessimistic about this bypass going ahead as it has been talked about for decades but he’s remaining optimistic about the plan presented.
“It’s still pretty high level, there’s going to be plenty more public consultation from the government on this project,” Seeley said.
“As we go through I’m sure we’ll identify more concerns, hopefully nothing that we can’t come to a resolution to. Definitely at this stage I’m pretty happy with the process.”