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Thunder Bay to divert trucks under new weight bylaw

Posted: March 16, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

THUNDER BAY, ON – City officials in Thunder Bay are shaping an anti-congestion plan by updating a 1972 weight bylaw that would divert commercial truck traffic away from the city centre.

Councillors voted March 7 to have city staff adjust the bylaw establishing truck routes within the next three months, ready to have the new traffic congestion plan in place by September.

Currently, the proposal would keep trucks over 5,000 kg off Oliver Road, Dawson Road and Arthur Street west of Highway 11/17. Drivers would instead be steered toward Hodder Avenue, Highway 11/17 and Highway 61.

“The designation of a truck route to restrict heavy vehicles from using residential streets has been identified as the most sensible way to manage these corridors,” states council documents. “With the cooperation of the Ministry of Transportation, advanced warning signs along their provincial highway corridors would direct trucks along Hwy 11/17 thereby reducing the number of transports using City streets unless necessary,” the documents add.

The recent council meeting also raised the impact the new bylaw could have on neighbouring Oliver Paipoonge, as more traffic would be diverted through the region. Local Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis says engineering reports indicate that some 500 new trucks could be coming through Kakabeka Falls from Hwy. 101/Dawson Road alone.

“I don’t know how those buses are going to get in and out of the side road where the school is, how our residents are going to get in and out of that highway with another 500 trucks going in each direction,” Kloosterhuis told The Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal.

Businesses along Thunder Bay’s Arthur Street, which is included in the designated truck route, told city council they are concerned the new route will lose them customers and increase costs.

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