The opening of an extension to the Conception Bay South bypass road this week is expected to accelerate already unprecedented growth in towns like Seal Cove and Holyrood.
The new 5.6-kilometre section will make it easier and faster to get from those towns to Mount Pearl and St. John's without having to drive to the Trans-Canada Highway or along the slow, winding road that is the old Conception Bay South highway.
Located between St. John's and the bustling, mega-project sites of Bull Arm and Long Harbour, Holyrood has been booming for the past few years. It's led to big homes in upscale new subdivisions dotting the landscape.
Government restraint and cost-cutting delayed the opening of the bypass extension by about two years.
Not that Holyrood Mayor Gary Goobie is complaining.
In fact, he says it actually gave the town more time prepare for the anticipated increase in traffic and population.
"There are many things the town had to do behind the scenes in terms of developing a new town plan," said Goobie. "We put engineering standards in place, and an organizational review. So, we did a lot of restructuring and a lot of planning for what's to come."
Along the way, he said, a lot of consideration was given to retaining the town's country feel.
That's something many long-time residents of nearby C.B.S. say their town lost in its rush to expand.
Anna Marie Fillier, who's lived in Seal Cove for 30 years doesn't believe her town will suffer the same fate.
"It's warmth, and the country life, and the trees and the beaches and the scenic view," said Fillier, one of hundreds who lined up to drive across the bypass extension Wednesday morning. "I don't think so. I think this is just progress that needs to be made."
She said she's witnessed many changes during her three decades in Seal Cove.
"Houses, especially. So many houses have been going up, and water and sewage going in, too. Land being bought, and the growth of businesses starting to come here."
Goobie, meanwhile, said most are welcoming those changes with open arms.
"We've been waiting for this opportunity for several years," he said. "And, of course, our town is growing."