More noise, more dust: Residents of Saint John street prepare for truck route

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More noise, more dust: Residents of Saint John street prepare for truck route

People on Saint John's Ready Street are coming to terms with news they will soon be seeing a lot more transport trucks on their short street.

On Tuesday city councillors approved a plan to let the street "share the pain" with adjacent Harding Street West, which has been the truck route for the past three decades.

Truckers will soon have a choice between Harding Street West and Ready Street as they make their way from industries like Irving Paper and Moosehead Breweries to Highway 1.

- 'Sharing the pain': Truckers get to choose between 2 residential streets in Saint John 

- Saint John truck traffic exhausts patience: 'They think this is the Indy 500' 

Retiree Bud Stillwell moved to an apartment on Ready Street with his wife Margaret after the couple sold their family home.

They have no wish to move again.

"We heard rumours of it, but we didn't know for sure whether this was going to be," said Stillwell. 

A little noisier, dustier 

"It will make it a little more noisier, more dustier. But what can you do?"

That view — that this is a done deal — was echoed by other residents CBC spoke to Wednesday.

In the meantime truckers like Ivor Banovic of Oshawa, Ont., say it makes little difference to them which street they bring their rigs down.

Banovic acknowledged it would be a disruption for people on a residential street to find they are now on a major truck route.

"It's no good for residential people," Banovic said. "But for us it's no big deal."

Truck problems on both Ready and Harding streets would be immediately solved if the city could realign busy Simms Corner, allowing transport trucks to travel straight through the intersection down non-residential Fairville Boulevard to Highway 1.

But for decades Simms Corner has proved a challenge for municipal engineers.

It's a meeting point for four busy streets with a nearby railway crossing thrown into the mix.

Major traffic jams

There are no traffic signals and negotiating it can be terrifying for motorists who are new to the city.

Attempts in the 1960s to organize it with the installation of traffic signals ended when major traffic jams ensued.

In 2012 city council rejected a proposal to turn the intersection into a roundabout.

It is now estimated that a realignment of Simms Corner could cost as much as $12 million.

Coun. Blake Armstrong of the city's west side said that's not something the municipality can handle.

"If that's going to be looked at, I believe industry has to kick in, because it's all for industry," said Armstrong.

"The industry is where the truck traffic goes. I'm not saying they have to pay the full fiddle but but they sure have to kick in."

Nonetheless, the reconfiguration remains part of the city traffic department's long-term plan.