Chatsworth Mayor Bob Pringle says linking Grey Road 40 between Highways 6 and 10 would ease traffic congestion and boost safety in the village and create economic development opportunities.
“I certainly would like to see 40 connected. It's been a goal of mine pretty much since amalgamation,” he said Monday.
However, the 1.7-kilometre link, which would require constructing a road and small bridge along a county-owned unopened road allowance, is not something the county and township should be funding alone, he said.
“Ideally, we would want the province to be the biggest partner in this since we're going to provide a solution to their highways,” he said.
“Certainly, there would have to be support from the county and possibly the township, but, for that type of major project, the province would have to be involved.”
Grey County council has asked staff to investigate and report back on the requirements to extend Grey Road 40 between the two highways.
Grey Road 40 is a mostly east-west route that runs across Grey – from Highway 26 in The Blue Mountains in the east to the Grey-Bruce Line in the west. Bruce Road 40 begins a short distance up the Grey-Bruce Line and heads westerly to Highway 21 near Port Elgin.
There's a gap in Grey Road 40 between Highways 6 and 10 south of the junction where the highways meet in the village of Chatsworth.
Currently, the quickest way to continue on Grey Road 40 from either highway is to head north and take an east-west road in Chatsworth and then go south again or turn at the junction.
Pringle said connecting Grey Road 40 has been on Chatsworth's wish list for years.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation has asked the county about possible solutions for the busy Highway 6&10 junction, he said, which can create significant traffic congestion especially in summer when people are heading to their cottages, beaches or the Chi-Cheemaun.
County officials met with MTO representatives at the Ontario Good Roads Association conference in February to discuss the issue.
Connecting Grey Road 40 would be a long-term solution to easing congestion at the junction, he said.
Aside from creating a more direct east-west Grey Road 40, the linkage would allow northbound vehicles on Highway 10 to avoid the junction, if they wish, by heading west south of the village until they can take a road north to Springmount, for example, or “cottage destinations, the beach or the Bruce Peninsula,” he said.
Northbound vehicles on Highway 6 could also take Grey Road 40 directly to Meaford or The Blue Mountains, he said, and avoid the junction.
If Highway 10 was backed up at the junction, vehicles could use Grey Road 40 to get to Highway 6, which has the right-of-way at the merger.
Grey County Warden Stewart Halliday said there has been a lot of collisions at and near the junction. The new road would improve safety.
Pringle said new homes or businesses could also be built on the new road, which would assist economic development.