Stormy truck route debate rages in Thunder Bay
THUNDER BAY, ON - A longstanding dispute over truck routes in Thunder Bay, Ontario is heading toward another city council vote later this month, and the stakes are particularly high for Santorelli's. The truck stop has been in business for 65 years - 45 of which have been under the current owners -- and welcomes truck traffic along Arthur Street. So do the 35 employees working in the restaurant and accompanying tire shop. But city council is looking to close much of Arthur Street and Dawson Road (Highway 102) to anything above 15,000 kilograms, squeezing more trucks onto the east-west Harbour Expressway that runs between the two routes. It isn't the first time a traffic change has affected the business. The truck stop dates back to a time when Arthur Street was part of the TransCanada Highway. Thirty percent of the business was lost when the nearby Harbour Extension was opened in 2008, says Lorne Kellar, Santorelli's controller. But it isn't the first time that the idea of further restricting the city's truck traffic has passed through council chambers, either.