After asking for it since the 1980s, Cochrane is finally getting a highway bypass from the provincial government.

The bypass will connect Highway 11 to the Detour Lake road.

Mayor Denis Clement says it will eliminate heavy truck traffic in the built-up part of Cochrane, diverting it to the Detour Lake gold mine and the sawmills on the east side of town.

He’s especially happy that the trucks will no longer drive along Lake Commando, avoiding any potential collisions and spills.  It will also eliminate a perennial winter problem.

“Sometimes” the mayor explains, “two trucks cannot meet and some of their trailers cross the sidewalk and that’s a big concern with the pedestrian traffic.”

It will save wear and tear on streets, and the bypass won’t be restricted solely to heavy trucks.

“Other traffic that nesds to go to the mine… if it’s light traffic, they certainly can continue and we welcome them in the community.”

Queen’s Park says the first step is an environmental assessment, which could take two-and-a-half years.