The Town of Balgonie endorsed the Balgonie portion of the Bypass project from the inception of the project. There were extreme safety concerns on Highway 1 and the level crossings from Highway 46 and the level crossing at Main Street. Too many fatalities and injuries have occurred at these locations with the increased traffic on these highways and the increased permitted speeds from 100 kph to 110 kph the potential for future accidents continues to increase. The new bypass will address these cross over issues.
The Town of Balgonie was presented with some preliminary designs (2010 to 2013) which indicated the Right in/Right out access would remain at Main Street in Balgonie and that the centre median would be closed for cross over traffic.
The plan indicating the closure at Main Street in both directions was only presented to the town residents on September 2014 with no pre-consultation or notice of the concept change. In response, the Town of Balgonie sent a letter to the Ministry of Highways in October 2014 expressing the dissatisfaction with the total closure of the access at Main Street. The impacts
noted included access, economic and emergency responses.
In the time since, the Town has continued to request the Right In/Right Out at Main Street and made several appeals to the Ministry on behalf of the local residents to find a reasonable solution. Additionally, the Town requested that the Ministry of Highways hold public consultations regarding the proposed closure of Main Street. There were no opportunities provided by the Ministry for public consultations. Open houses started to occur in 2016—long after the closure was presented on paper and after the Ministry decided to close the access.