Strategy now focuses on large trucks
CHESTERVILLE — Detours and barriers remain in place around Chesterville as work on a sewer line goes longer than expected. That’s not likely to please the downtown merchants who have complained of overkill in the way detours and “local traffic only” signs were placed at each main entrance to the village yesterday, Oct. 3.
As a result of the complaints from business owners, the United Counties of SD&G is now emphasizing that passenger cars and trucks are welcome to drive into Chesterville. Counties’ roads department head Ben deHaan concedes the earlier strategy arose from a concern about large trucks finding their way into the village.
“You are hitting the nail on the head – our fear is getting a big transport stuck in downtown,” deHaan replied by email yesterday when asked why his department didn’t just put up signs prohibiting large trucks for the day. “For info, we permit loads up to 3.66m on all County Roads (with an annual permit). This size can get stuck if we try and route them onto local roads,” he added.
The work closing the intersection of Queen and Main Street North was supposed to be finished by 8 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 3) but that didn’t happen “because they ran into a conflict on site,” deHaan said.
“With the feedback, we will make sure we clarify that passenger vehicles still have access to the downtown area in our updated public notice,” he added in the email.
Mike Dean’s proprietor Gordon Dean said that business was down 50 percent from a usual Wednesday. “ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE – unlike the signs that the United Counties of SD&G are indicating at each entrance to the village, Chesterville merchants are fully OPEN for business today and Thursday,” he wrote in a comment on a Nation Valley News Facebook post.
In the same thread, Louis Restaurant proprietor Dinos Pavlounis said that placing barriers at every entrance coming into Chesterville was “simply ridiculous.”
The MacEwen gas station, located only feet away from the construction site, also remains open. The attendant there said that business was down yesterday but picked up last night.
In a statement this morning, Gordon Dean lauded Mayor Eric Duncan and deHaan for working on a solution. “We were told late last night and again this morning from Mayor Duncan that the township has been working hard with the SDG Counties to get the main entrance roads into Chesterville corrected so it blocks only heavy truck traffic and not regular vehicle traffic,” the grocer wrote in an email. “To the SDG Counties staff, Engineer deHaan, and Mayor Duncan – THANK YOU. The village of Chesterville merchants appreciate your extra work on this!”
This article was edited to include that last statement from Gordon Dean.