Beaconsfield still waiting for relief
By Robert Frank
Construction workers last week erected forms for a sound wall that will protect Lachine residents from noise from Highway 20.
“It’s a temporary measure,” Transport Quebec spokeswoman Caroline Larose told The Suburban in an interview. “It is being installed west of 55th Avenue in order to provide sound management whilst construction on the highway is underway.”
“The barrier will be demolished once construction is complete,” she added.
Larose was unable to say how much the interim sound wall will cost Quebec taxpayers, nor what materials would be used to build it.
Beaconsfield residents were dismayed that the province remains deaf to their own complaints about noise from Highway 20.
Sound wall activist Derrick Pounds wrote to Jean-François Lisée, Sept. 20, asking the provincial cabinet minister for Montreal to take steps to alleviate their longstanding suffering from highway noise that far exceeds the province’s health guidelines.
“[The Quebec government’s] own 2010 study—based on data from 2005—recommended where a sound wall was needed and provided all the specifications, including height,” reminded Pounds. “That was a different government. Hopefully the current government will take note of that.”
“We’re not giving up,” he said. “They [just] put in [a new sound wall] the equivalent of what we want in Beaconsfield along 13 sections of Highway 30. The Ontario company that built the majority of them said they could do the whole [Beaconsfield wall] for $10 million.”
West Island not a priority
“Beaconsfield council, the mayor, [MNA] Geoffrey Kelly, Quebec’s environment, health and transport ministers and [federal opposition leader and Beaconsfield resident] Thomas Mulcair are all aware of this,” he noted.
West Island transportation infrastructure sank to the bottom of the provincial priority list after the Quebec election a year ago.
The péquistes put the Highway 440 extension on ice immediately after they took power. International travelers who pass through Dorval International Airport all get to witness the province’s half-finished bridges to nowhere, nor is the much-needed Train de l’ouest commuter train project advancing.
While these projects continue to languish, the Parti québécois government was, as The Suburban went to press, expected to announce new plans aimed at lengthening the Metro blue line eastward to Anjou.
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