Hwy 144 bypass plans draw mixed reviews
Highway to go around Chelmsford, Dowling in Sudbury region
Posted: Jan 23, 2013 10:42 AM ET
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2013 7:28 AM ET
A provincial plan to build a $200 million highway bypass around Chelmsford and Dowling is in its final stages.
After two years of studying a half-dozen options — including adding roundabouts to the current highway — planners favour a bypass that cuts to the south of the existing road.The province says the planning study of Highway 144 is long-range, meaning even after it's final, it could be decades before pavement is laid down. (Erik White/CBC)
Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren said Highway 144 is an important road for his city. Many residents talk about how the province could improve it, but bypassing Chelmsford doesn't usually come up, he said.
What he does hear are issues around "widening … I think any place you could straighten out some of the corners,” Laughren said. “In a lot of instances there's no shoulder."
Chelmsford resident Ed Robinson said he sees the project mostly as a waste of money.
"I think it's totally unnecessary, particularly if the government is trying to save money as it claims and is in debt,” he said.
But he also mentioned he has friends who own businesses that depend on Highway 144 to bring them customers.
Robinson said he doesn't think the road is overly congested.
Neither does resident Raymond Castilloux, who added he thinks that could change.Greater Sudbury area residents recently had the chance to review plans that are in the works to improve Highway 144. Some say the proposed changes are a waste of money and could hurt businesses that line the existing route. (Erik White/CBC)
"There's always more traffic and I think it's going to be a good thing if you look 20, 25 years down the road,” Castilloux said.
Jim Loiselle said he won’t miss the stop-and-go traffic through Chelmsford, as he drives to Sudbury from Gogama twice a week.
"It'd be good for the traveler, because you wouldn't have to slow down for traffic and school buses and stuff like that,” he said. “But I don't think it's going to be good for the businesses."
The province said this is a long-range planning study, which means that, even after its final, it could be decades before pavement is laid down.
However, once the route is planned, the province will start buying land.
Corrections and Clarifications
- A quote erroneously attributed to Ed Robinson has been changed to Raymond Castilloux. Jan.24, 7:27 a.m.
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