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New Highway 7 will be an asset

Once again I must disagree with Alan Pickersgill’s “View from Here”(Tribune, Oct. 4).
His loose use of data to make a point about the possible cost per mile to properly rebuild Highway 7 between Guelph and Waterloo Region, compared with the possible cost per mile to rebuild a highway to Whistler in B.C., truly begs for a proper analysis of all the data about the two highway upgrades.
I suspect Pickersgill is comparing apples and oranges because he doesn’t like highways, trucks and such.
Are we really to believe that the geniuses in British Columbia can build a highway for $4 million to $5 million a kilometre, while the bozos in Ontario can’t do it for less than about $28 million a kilometre? And B.C. has mountains to deal with, while Highway 7 just has flatland. Come on, Alan! And as far as we know, the difference cannot be attributed to Quebec-style shenanigans.
I grew up in Guelph. My father built houses in Kitchener-Waterloo. We had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins in K-W. From an early age, whether helping my father or visiting relatives, I travelled Highway 7. I commuted between Guelph and K-W for several years as a student at Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Waterloo.
Later in life, I commuted again for 15 years while living in Guelph and working in Waterloo Region.
Believe me, I know the traffic densities and problems with Highway 7. The Ministry of Transportation has developed the absolutely appropriate solution – a new divided highway that is safe, efficient and effective.
It will certainly lead to more economic linkages between Waterloo Region and Guelph and thereby help create more jobs in the Golden Triangle for our children and grandchildren. This will help them to work locally rather than be pulled into the greater Toronto economy.
It’s time for the ‘Highway 7 deniers’ to open their minds to a balanced analysis of the need for and benefits of the new Highway 7. Simply bashing it because of some personal dislike for automobiles and trucks and such is, well, too simplistic.
Doug Gruber

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