Cornwall bypass back on provincial agenda

P.E.I. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey says the province is taking another look at building a highway bypass around Cornwall.

Trans-Canada Highway diversion would cost $45 million

P.E.I. Transportation Minister Robert Vessey says the province is taking another look at building a highway bypass around Cornwall.

The province would need help from the federal government to build a Cornwall bypass, says Transportation Minister Robert Vessey. (CBC)

Cornwall sits just west of Charlottetown, and the Trans-Canada Highway runs right through the middle of it. Mayor Barney Fullerton said he has sent a letter to the province on behalf of council asking for that to change.

"We would like it to become Main Street, Cornwall," said Fullerton.

The project has been talked about for more than a decade. The mayor said a perimeter highway would improve safety by reducing traffic. But diverting highway traffic around the town would be expensive, with costs estimated at $45 million.

"It is a huge ticket item and it's something that we would need federal funding," said Vessey.

Vessey said the design is not finished. Cornwall's town administrator said the bypass is expected to start near the Cornwall side of the North River Causeway.

A bypass would improve safety, says Cornwall Mayor Barney Fullerton. (CBC)

Fadi Rashed doesn't like the idea. His restaurant sits right next to the Trans-Canada, and if the highway moves he worries it will hurt business.

"People will not leave that highway to go into Cornwall when they can go directly into Charlottetown," he said.

Nothing will happen unless the province gets federal funding. The province is waiting to hear about Ottawa's new Canada Build Fund.

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