A long-promised plan to move thousands of vehicles away from the community of Morriston appears to be one step closer to a reality.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced Tuesday that the province plans to move ahead with a bypass of Highway 6 in part of Puslinch Township.

Although a press release issued by the province gave 2020 as the start date for construction of the bypass, Del Duca said he hoped to see construction start by 2019.

The bypass will be five kilometres long, starting north of Freelton, and will connect directly to Highway 401, which will be widened to 10 lanes.

Three new interchanges with the 401 will also be built in the area.

The proposal for a bypass dates back to the 1980s, and was approved by the province in the following decade.

Although an environmental assessment was completed in 2009, people in Puslinch felt it was languishing without any action.

A traffic count conducted that year found that more than 22,000 vehicles pass through Morriston on the highway on a typical day.

Provincial figures now show that number as having surpassed 25,000, Del Duca said.

“This rural section of highway is one of the busiest two-lane highways in the province of Ontario,” he said.

Confirmation of the bypass being built is good news for Glenna Smith, who is part of the citizens’ group that has been pushing for it through decades.

“This is a very, very important announcement,” she told CTV News.

“The bottleneck through Morriston is unbelievable.”

Morriston resident Alan Fairweather says he sees benefits and drawbacks in the arrival of the bypass.

Living just a few houses off of the existing Highway 6, he says he likes that it will be quicker and safer to turn onto the current highway.

Living right beside the route of the new highway presents a different concern.

“We’re worried a little bit about what it’s going to do to our property values, because literally it’s in our backyard,” he said.