Valparaso - May 20, 98 -
Almost a mile and half West of Valparaiso ground preparation is underway for the new United Grain Growers inland terminal. Earth moving equipment is in place and at work building the future site for the elevator and roadways to the site. Situated on the South side of the railway this site is a little more then half a mile from the highway.
With terminals of this type now being situated on all four sides of Tisdale it would seem that the good ole days of usable highways are about to end abruptly. With railway abandonment and the concentration of these large grain handling facilities on main highways the surface road system
|of the province is rapidly becoming un-maintainable. This dramatic shift from railway subsidies of the past to highway subsidies of the present and future has become a reality and taxpayers will continue to be required to pay for the transportation of commodities. Though this was the case with railway transportation, the cost of maintainence is a fraction|
|of constructing and keeping servicable the massive road allowance system that provides
access to farms throughout the province. It has now become the practice for semi-tractor
"B" trains to haul directly from the farm to the terminals thus stressing
the road system beyond its capacity. The passage of a single such truck on a road
is the equivalent of seventeen thousand passenger cars.
The interesting thing about this scenario is that it may not be a sinster plot or diliberate act by careless politicians. The process had begun many years before NAFTA and isproceeding in an unplanned topsey-like pattern. However, the results of the process will dramatically change both our way of life, but also the way we depend upon access to inexpensive automotive transportation. We will have to purchase heavier, off road type of vehicles if we want to move about and even then, road conditions similar to what existed just after World War I will become common place just as we are now back to road conditions of about forty years ago.