PUSLINCH – While happy to see that progress is being made on a Morriston bypass from Highway 401 to Highway 6 South, Puslinch council expressed reservations on March 3 about the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) draft design concept.
The MTO plan proposes closing access to the Hanlon Expressway at Maltby Road, widening a section of Hwy. 401, and adding a new off ramp from the 401 that bypasses the village of Morriston, joining Hihjway 6 South at Maddaugh Road.
Morriston is located just south of the 401 on Highway 6 and has long been riddled with the contradictory conditions of stop-and-go traffic congestion and speeding highway traffic.
The project would also necessitate:
- changes on Calfass Road at the new interchange;
- changes to Highway 6 through Morriston and north of Highway 401 at existing 401 interchanges; and
- expansion and reconfiguration of the commuter parking lot south of the 401 at Highway 6.
The ministry is holding an online public information centre on the proposed project and is inviting the public to comment at www.highways6and401hamiltontoguelph.ca.
Commenting closes on March 10.
Councillor John Sepulis reminded council that in 2016 and 2017, council of the day raised concerns about the proposed plan that have not been addressed, according to the draft design.
And the Puslinch fire department has ongoing concerns about response times and its ability to access properties at all, with a centre median proposed along a section of Highway 6.
Fire Chief Luis Gomes said there has been no response from the MTO despite two letters to the ministry outlining township concerns and “multiple” meetings with the MTO and officials from Wellington County, OPP detachments in Wellington County and Cambridge, Puslinch fire, Guelph-Wellington Paramedics, and Wellington County’s emergency management team.
Gomes said the new configuration will change the route firetrucks take to respond to accidents on Highway 401 and at other locations in the township, adding detours and time.
In some locations, Gomes said Milton or Cambridge might have quicker response times than Puslinch will have.
“We would have to do response time testing to see,” he said.
CAO Glenn Schwendinger said he would compile council’s comments and submit them to the MTO.
He will also invite the MTO to make a presentation to council.