Woolwich bans truck traffic on Conestogo street

Officials cite damage and neighbourhood complaints, WRPS unable to enforce heavy truck bylaw

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Truck traffic has been halted on Grandview Drive in Conestogo and a property owner will be paying for road repairs as Woolwich moved on complaints about numerous dump trucks rolling through the neighbourhood.

The move follows township council’s decision last week to pass a bylaw prohibiting trucks from using the road.

The owner of the 62-acre property at 506 Katherine St. had been using a Grandview Drive access route to truck in topsoil for the site, home to a newly planted plum orchard. Asked by the township to cease using Grandview Drive due to the deterioration of the roadway, the owner agreed this week to look at alternatives, said Woolwich clerk Val Hummel.

“The soil being trucked onsite is needed to address a flood control matter, and the property owner needs approximately 14 more days to complete the work, but has agreed to comply with the heavy truck prohibition and seek other solutions such as a potential access off of Katherine Street, which requires an entrance permit from the Region of Waterloo,” she said in an email Tuesday.

Calls from neighbours over the weekend set off a flurry of activity in the area, with Waterloo Regional Police and township enforcement staff dealing with some confusion over the new bylaw. That has since been resolved, and enforcement of the prohibition is in effect, said Hummel.

Woolwich has erected “no trucks” signs at both entrances of Grandview Drive from Sawmill Road.

Staff Sgt. Mike Hinsperger of the Waterloo Regional Police said officers have been monitoring the area, reporting no incidents since the weekend.

Hummel noted the property owner has been cooperating, agreeing to cover the cost of damages to the roadway.

“We don’t have an estimate on the costs yet because we don’t know the full extent.  Deterioration has started and could be further impacted by winter weather and the freeze/thaw cycles going into spring, and it will be spring before we have a good estimate of costs,” she said. “The property owner has stated he will compensate the township for the cost of the repairs; work will be completed in the spring.”

The busted-up road, mud and truck traffic prompted public complaints, leading to an investigation early this month by public works superintendent Barry Baldasaro. He found serious concerns, noting continued deterioration of the road was likely, with little chance of repairs prior to winter setting in. His report in turn prompted last week’s council resolution prohibiting truck traffic.

“The surface treated apron off Grandview onto the lane which the trucks were using as a point of access was significantly broke up,” he said in the report. “There were also a few locations where the trucks had rutted the grass along the road edge and one location where the edge of the tar-and-chip surface had been damaged.”

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