‘Grin and bear it folks’

Peacekeepers Way disruption can’t be helped, says Tilley

By Craig Westcott
October 6, 2023 Edition

Many CBS residents 50 years old and over will well remember the long, slow moving, snake like line ups of traffic to St. John’s and back during morning and evening “rush hour” before the Manuels Arterial Road opened in the mid-1980s. Well, a newer generation of commuters might get a taste of that next week as a portion of Peacekeepers Way between the Foxtrap Access Road and Legion Road is closed to allow for replacement of a major culvert.

The closure, which starts Monday and runs until October 19, will mean many commuters from Kelligrews, Seal Cove, and even Holyrood, will have to make their way to St. John’s along a portion of Route 60, which is busy even during normal times.

“Folks, this is a major project, it’s not something we can do at select times during the day,” Ward 3 councillor Gerard Tilley noted during Tuesday’s public meeting. “They’re excavating a pretty big hole. They’re actually tearing up Peacekeepers Way and replacing a huge culvert. It’s going to be costly, and timely.”

The company doing the work, Eric Taylor Ltd., has applied for a permit to work on the project around the clock, Tilley noted, which means the job shouldn’t take as long as it might normally would.

“We just want residents to keep in mind that it’s going to be super busy – not that it’s not super busy on Route 60 already – but there’s going to be an increased amount of traffic especially on your commute to and from work and school in the mornings, so we just ask that you be patient and the work will get done quickly.”

Councillor-at-large Rex Hillier clarified the culvert is being installed to improve drainage on Kelligrews River. 

“That’s correct,” said Tilley. “And if they don’t do the work soon, we could potentially end up with a sinkhole one day and that’s something that nobody around this table or in this province wants to see. So it’s work that has to be done and we’re just going to have to grin and bear it for those 10 days.”

Ward 4 councillor Melissa Hardy, also had a plea for motorists, as well as a suggestion.

“I know you’re going to be a little bit aggravated with regards to the congestion that will happen in CBS,” she said. “Just be mindful that as you’re coming through those detour areas, you’re passing three schools and three daycares. So be extra diligent and mindful and patient, because you’re going to have parents and school buses dropping off some of our most vulnerable residents in the area to our schools. So just be extra patient. Maybe you can even go into work a little bit later and work a flex schedule, if that’s an option for you.”

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