The City of Delta is proposing a safer downtown and promising it won't take a tax increase to make it happen. They plan to do this with an alternate route to divert the heavy volume of truck traffic away from town.
A study done in 2008 showed that an average of 21,000 vehicles passed through the town of Delta every day, with just under 12,000 of them being semi trucks. That's why the city is looking to provide a four lane alternate route for these trucks. "Trucks that are coming back and forth that have no intention of stopping," says Assistant City Manager Steve Glammeyer.
The City says rerouting these trucks will have little impact on the local businesses, and that was a big factor. The City of Delta lives off sales tax so it's critical they get behind it," says Glammeyer.
Officials say that reducing truck traffic through Main Street would improve parking safety, make downtown more customer friendly, and reduce noise and dust. "Comments about how scary it was to park downtown, fear of opening their doors, mirrors getting ripped off," says Linda Sanchez, executive director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
An added bonus to the plan is that the project could be funded without raising taxes. The City already has a one cent sales in place to help fund projects like this, they just need the okay from voters. "People are going to pay the tax before November 3 and after November 3, they're not going to pay anymore," says Glammeyer.
On top of the reduction in traffic to the downtown area, the new overpass will provide a secondary route around railroad delays. "When there's a train, there is no emergence service to north Delta for up to 30 minutes," says Glammeyer. The overpass will improve access for fire, ambulance and police to north Delta which is home to one third of the city's population.
Officials and residence hope that with the new bypass in place the small town feel will return. "We're hoping to bring back the charm," says Sanchez. If the vote goes through this November 3, the plans will be finalized by this April. Construction could begin as early as next year and will take two years to complete. Click on the link below for a virtual tour of the new proposed alternate route.