Thunder Bay city officials seek input to newest proposed heavy truck route

City administration in Thunder Bay has come out with its latest proposal for regulating where large, heavy vehicles passing through town can go, and officials are ready for public feedback.

Proposed rules would see all heavy truck traffic through the city restricted to Highways 11-17, 61

City officials in Thunder Bay are going back to the public with their latest attempt to establish a designated route for heavy vehicles passing through town. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

City administration in Thunder Bay has come out with its latest proposal for regulating where large, heavy vehicles passing through town can go, and officials are ready for public feedback.

The city has been attempting to establish a designated truck route for years. In 2017, a proposed set of rules was referred back to administration for further study after various concerns from businesses, members of the community and some city councillors.

The rules that are being put forward for public comment would effectively restrict all heavy vehicles, like some dump trucks, tractor trailers and pulp and logging trucks, to Highway 11-17 and Highway 61. Some other in-town routes for trucks proposed last year — like a stretch of Hodder Avenue and routes between the East End and Mission Island —  have been scrapped.

"So [the route] will follow from east of town, head through town and then head out the Shabaqua extension, as well as Highway 61 south," said Kayla Dixon, Thunder Bay's director of engineering and operations. "Those will be the only routes that will be on the designated truck route."

If a truck needs to make a stop in Thunder Bay, Dixon said the bylaw will mandate the vehicle stay on the designated route for as long as possible before travelling on other city streets to reach its destination. Additionally, she said current weight restrictions on a number of roads will be maintained.

"You're supposed to remain on a designated truck route as long as possible before you head to your delivery location," Dixon said.

Large vehicles would effectively be banned from Dawson Road, Oliver Road and Arthur Street W.

City staff will take feedback at a pair of public meetings in Thunder Bay on Feb. 15. Businesses can comment at a session from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Oliver Road Recreation Centre. The meeting for the general public runs later the same day — from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a presentation at 5:15 p.m. — at the Italian Cultural Centre.

"[We're] hoping to get feedback both from businesses and the public on those routes so that hopefully we can go forward to council and recommend this and say that the community is behind it as well," Dixon said.

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