HILDEN - An interchange for the Hilden area was met with mixed reaction Wednesday at an open house presentation of the proposed project.
More than 200 Hilden and area residents stopped by the Hilden Fire Hall to look over three proposals for the project, which is intended to divert truck traffic away from the McClures Mills Road and Willow Street area of Truro, where trucks pass to make their way into town or the Truro Business Park.
"I'm a supporter of it," Hilden resident Phil Brown said. "I like what I've seen. I think it's needed."
Brown said truck traffic is heavy in Hilden and is becoming a safety concern, especially for pedestrains along Highway 2 and at the intersection of McClures Mills Road and Willow Street.
"My wife walks into town every day," he said. "It's a terrible place to walk. You've really got to keep your wits about you when you're crossing (that intersection). It's dangerous and I think this would help a lot."
But not everybody at the fire hall was so enthusiastic about the idea. Gilbert Gill, a Hilden resident of 28 years, said he would like to know more about the effects of building an interchange.
"It's OK to look at the maps and see where it's going to go but is it going to be beneficial to people?" he asked. "How is it going to affect land values? Property taxes? Things like that, so people like myself can understand it. How is it going to benefit Hilden?"
Large maps of the three designs were on hand for residents to look at with the proposed routes drawn on. Current landmarks were also highlighted to help show exactly where the interchange would run. Staff from the Colchester Regional Deelopment Association (CoRDA), the County of Colchester and EXP, a design company based in Saint John, N.B., were on hand to answer questions.
Residents were also asked to fill out a questionnaire about the proposals to gauge public feedback.
The proposals range from $25.7 million to $32 million.
All three designs involve the installation of exit and on ramps on Highway 102 between Brookfield and Millbrook, with two routes crossing Highway 2 just north of Jacqueline Court and measuring 3 km. A third plan at 3.5 km sees the interchange cross Highway 2 south of Jaqueline Court before making its way toward the Truro Business Park, where all three link up with Industrial Avenue.
An overpass would have to be constructed over Highway 2 for two of the three plans with a third incorporating a roundabout. All three require overpasses over the rail line between Highway 102 and Highway 2.