By Andy Labdon
Revitalization and improvement to Wadena has been at the forefront of most people’s minds this last 18 months or so, and one aspect that has been the topic of conversation has been infrastructure, mainly roads.
Many residents have voiced their opinions on crumbling and pot-holed roads and, with the anticipated increase in truck traffic servicing the new Viterra terminal, there are those who are concerned about the increase in traffic and serious deterioration of roads due to increased semi and B-train traffic.
The Viterra terminal that is expected to accommodate up to 600 trucks a week, plus existing traffic, makes Wadena’s Main Street a centre for trucks coming from the west, south and north.
Last year both the town and R.M. of Lakeview began discussions as to how to absorb the extra traffic and protect Wadena’s roads. Safety was in the forefront of most people’s minds as well as trying to embrace the new business.
In March 2017, David Marit, minister of highways and infrastructure visited Wadena on an invite from Mervin Kryzanowski, reeve of the R.M. of Lakeview. The meeting and tour of proposed truck routes left Kryzanowski with a feeling of optimism, even though the minister said, “At present there is no funding available.”
“But he could see what we were on about,” said Kryzanowski in a recent interview.
Truck routes would take existing grid roads that would have to be upgraded to primary to take the weight and volume of traffic, said Kryzanowski.
“But the highways department has to be the leader in this,” he said. “Infrastructure is a must, we must have a good solid road system,” said Kryzanowski, who is pushing for results.
This is just the first step in the planning and executing of ensuring the infrastructure in and around Wadena can support the new Viterra terminal.