Some Nordale residents are upset after learning that heavy truck traffic will be diverted through their neighbourhood for the next two weeks.
On Thursday, the city sent out notices that due to construction on Central Avenue north, heavy traffic coming from the east along Highway 55 intending to travel south through the city would be diverted through the neighbourhood.
Brad Dent, a Nordale resident, expressed dismay after receiving the notice in the mail.
“This is just ludicrous,” he said.
“I can’t even believe they would dream of doing that. There is an industrial route for industrial trucks. To give five days notice — there should be two months notice. As soon as you turn in you see a sign that says no big trucks.”
Dent cited noise and safety concerns as reasons the detour would disrupt the area. He said he’s concerned about children playing and people walking their dogs as big trucks rumble through the area. He suggested the city route traffic along 15th street Northeast, by the Lakeland Ford Park ball diamonds instead.
City officials confirmed they had received a few calls about the detour, but defended the decision.
“We looked into a few options, Nordale being one, the other being 15th Street Northeast,” said surface works manager Marcel Gareau.
“Fifteenth Street NE is made of jackpine sand and doesn’t have a lot of structural loading, especially when it gets wet. It’s not really meant for hauling traffic.”
Garea said it would require a lot of maintenance to make that road operable for the heavy trucks.
“The problem is exacerbated when it rains. Fifth Avenue Northwest is in much better condition and built … to accommodate the loads,” he said.
Gareau confirmed the city is doing what it can to mitigate concerns.
“It’s not all the traffic, it’s just the heavy trucks that want to turn southbound on Highway 2,” he said.
“All the other trucks that want to head to the industrial park are not heading through Nordale, nor those heading east or north.”
He added that the city is lowering the sped limit for the duration of the detour to 30 km/h to keep the noise down and make the road safer. He also said the city did preparation work to ready the road and will continue to maintain it during the closure.
Gareau also said the city gave plenty of notice — they’re only required to provide 48 hours notice, he said, and instead, let residents know five days prior to the change.
Work repaving the section of Central Ave. North is expected to be complete by June 21.