If you've ever traveled east on Highway 50 through Delta, you know it can quickly slow you down. But soon, it could be smooth sailing without even having to pass down the 30 miles per hour Main Street.
The plan to build a truck bypass around Delta has been talked about for decades but the ground breaking ceremony will occur next month bringing with it a mix of opinions.
About a year from now, downtown Delta will be a quieter, more pleasant place to be. The city of Delta, along with state and county assistance, will be building a bypass around the city.
"I think the real intent is to make it a truck route. It’s not necessarily to create a bypass. So we'd like people to continue to drive through town and have the opportunity to stop on our main street, shop or eat or do whatever. But if anybody's stood outside on main street when a couple of large trucks go by, I mean it's pretty disruptive to the natural, nice environment we have down there”, said Justin Clifton, Delta City Manager.
The 2009 bond measure passed with overwhelming support, but there are mixed views when it comes to business owners who are directly affect by the bypass.
"It’s going to be great, especially for the location of my business. It’s going to be coming right through here, so I think it'll be good for Delta. The city's been very good and very diligent about making all of the information available and inviting business owners to meetings. So we've all been kept well aware of what's going on” explained Debbie Longshea, owner of McDonald’s in Delta.
Other business owners say they're not sold on the bypass. Kenny Wood, owner of Ken’s Pit Stop, agrees that the bypass will improve public safety but says his business will suffer with the new plans.
"I think it'll be affected in a bad way, especially if they go with the original plan. I mean, I talked to Rob and Jim from the city and from Stantech. They’ve come up with different ideas but it's been 6 months since I’ve talked to them too. I’m not really sure what the final plan it”, says Wood.
Another upside to the bypass is the number of jobs it'll bring to the area. There will be a job fair on December 7th from 7-11AM at Bill Heddles Recreational Center, 530 Gunnison River Drive in Delta. They’ll be looking for bridge carpenters, heavy highway equipment operators, crane operator, pipe laborers, fueler, general laborers, truck drivers, and flaggers. Be sure to have a resume and two forms of identification.