KITCHENER, Ont. — It will be weeks or months before anyone knows where the new Hwy. 7 will ultimately be built, but it appears plans for a new Kitchener-to-Guelph link may be in jeopardy.
“We heard a lot of concerns and what we learned is that some of the problems are a lot more serious than we thought,” Dave Wake, a ministry official, told local media. He adds while it is too soon to say the plans for the link would be scrapped, officials are considering changes that would alleviate some concerns expressed during the most recent round of public meetings.
Wake said a complex system of service roads for businesses between Kitchener and Guelph was among features of the last plan that proved to be contentious. Business owners fear the service-road plan would force many of them into bankruptcy.
A group of nursery and garden centre operators based east of Breslau, Ont., don’t want to see the existing Hwy. 7 expanded, they want a new road running north of the highway. This is in-line with the first route proposed by the ministry, which ran north of and parallel to the existing highway and while it spared businesses, it would have plowed through wood lots, wetlands and farmland.
The business group still supports this idea and insists the road could be built to avoid wetlands and significant natural features.
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