By Andy Labdon
The Town of Wadena together with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure and the R.M. of Lakeview is to undertake a regional transportation review to identify potential solutions to alleviate safety concerns with the truck traffic that passes through Wadena.
There have been concerns about safety issues related to semis passing through town particularly in the vicinity of the Wadena Elementary School and Wadena’s busy Main Street.
“We have identified a need for a truck route of some sort so that dangerous goods and over- dimensional loads can bypass the town,” said Mervin Kryzanowski, Lakeview’s reeve.
Safety on Main Street has already been addressed in part by the Town with the installation of speed signs and proposed future curb extensions, which will improve visibility for pedestrians.
“We already have some data from the speed signs plus historical data, but there are gaps we need to fill,” said Jennifer Taylor, Deputy CAO.
Since the building of the new Viterra grain terminal, there has been a perception that truck traffic has increased.
“We feel there has been an increase, but we have no hard evidence to prove it, and that is why we need to collect the data to determine the next step,” explained Taylor.
The partnership is at present on a fact-finding mission, collating as much data as possible to determine the needs and discuss future projects.
The aim, in the long run, is to improve safety, “We want to be open and transparent about the process, and this collecting data is the first step.”
There have been rumours in the past of a proposed bypass for Wadena, but nothing concrete has ever materialized.
“No route has been selected,” reiterated Taylor. “We need the data before anything can proceed.”
According to the Town the review “will assess regional transportation needs, constraints, and opportunities through data collection and analysis and completion of a needs assessment. Options will be developed and communicated to both stakeholders and the public for feedback.”