Local developer and realtor Dan Samson finally got to use the new intersection at Jubilee Parkway and Willow Creek Road for the first time on Tuesday. And he made sure he was the first one through.
“I told them to call me when it was going to open so I could be the first one through it, and they called me and said, ‘we’re opening it up in 10 minutes,’ and I said, ‘gimme 15,’ and rushed down,” Samson says.
“It was a $2.5-million private investment in our community, and it’s worth celebrating.”
Why was it so important for him to be the first one through?
“Well, when you have a plan for that long and it comes together just the way you hoped it would, it’s exciting,” he says.
That intersection was actually in the plans for over 20 years before it was fully realized this week and Samson had a major role in its development.
But it wasn’t always easy.
“We certainly had some hiccups along the way,” he says.
One of those “hiccups” was the discussion surrounding just what the intersection would look like.
At one point in the discussions between the developers, the city and the province, it was a toss-up between the lighted intersection it became and a roundabout.
“I was actually in favour of the roundabout, but roundabouts aren’t really pedestrian friendly,” Samson says. “And that trail out there is part of the Greenways Loop and is already pretty well used and will continue to get more use, so I think the light was the right decision.”
Another “hiccup” was who was going to pay for it. Samson fought long and hard for the city to include the work in its infrastructure planning, he says, but in the end, it came out of the pockets of the developers.
Now that residents and visitors to the Maryland and Parkway subdivisions have another entrance, and will soon have another lighted intersection at Maryland Road and Highway 19A, Samson thinks the next step will be for the city to punch Willow Creek Road through from Twillingate Road to join up with the section of Willow Creek Road that meets up with Maryland.
“That subdivision is locked in there with only one entrance,” Samson says, “and if you talk to the fire department, for example, they’ll tell you that’s not a good idea.
“They’re very happy there’s another way into Maryland through this new one.”
Samson also thinks there’s more to come in terms of the Willow Creek/Jubilee Parkway intersection.
He says, eventually, residential expansion will happen to the south side of the bypass, leading to Willow Creek continuing through to the south.
But that’s outside the city’s current urban containment boundary – currently under review, spurred by Samson’s own application to develop that area – so that possible future is definitely uncertain.
But for now, he’s just happy that people have another way to get in and out of one of the highest-growth residential areas of the community.