Cochrane taking another look at temporary closure of Highway 579

COCHRANE - The Town of Cochrane is taking another look at the temporary closure of Highway 579 next year after receiving feedback about it.

In 2024, the Ministry of Transportation is replacing culverts on Highway 579. To allow for the work, the provincial ministry asked for Cochrane council's support for the detour route, which council approved at its Oct. 10 meeting.

At the town’s regular council meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 24), CAO Richard Vallee said they’ve received "quite a few" comments about the road closure.

“We will be re-looking at the closure with the MTO and we'll have something further to report at the next council meeting,” he said.

For the project, the MTO plans to replace three or four culverts on the highway between Highway 11 and Concession 12&1 Road. It would require the closure of Highway 579 for 12 weeks at the longest, with the detour route primarily on Railway Street, Genier Road and Concession 12&1 Road.

In addition to the public concerns, Vallee noted that there have also been a couple of things that have been brought to light that would require reconsideration, including the weight restriction on the bridge.

At the town’s previous meeting, it was mentioned that those affected by the detour received a notice describing the closures and detour route. They were given 30 days to respond to the MTO and none were received.

The municipality is concerned that letters were not sent to everyone who would be impacted as some individuals in the process of building or who are planning to build next year weren’t notified.

Mayor Peter Politis said they’re going to identify any challenges with the MTO with the goal of trying to find an alternative solution to avoid any closures of Highway 579.

“At that point, we can have a proper discussion about what some of the challenges might be and we'll do that when we have all the information,” he said.

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative,