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Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, March 24


 

Posted March 17

Posted Feb. 16

Posted Feb. 17

polls

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



 

 

 

   

 

(Posted 5:30 p.m., June 5)
Ottawa-Orléans MPP calls for light rail before new bridge to Quebec

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely is calling for a revaluation of the east end's transportaion priorities, and in particular the need to extend light rail to Orléans before a new interprovicial bridge is built to Quebec.

The veteran Liberal MPP is concerned a future bridge will overwhelm the current work that is being done to add an extra lane through the Split and widen the eastern portion of the Queensway.

"The consultants have already released information that a bridge, no matter where it's built in the east end, will result in more than 2,000 heavy trucks using Hwy. 174 every day. That's on top of the thousands of Gatineau commuters who will use the bridge to get to their jobs in Ottawa. It all adds up to a second Split in the east end," says McNeely.

"It doesn't matter where they decide to build a bridge. Whether it's Corridor 5, Corridor 6 or Corridor 7, you're creating a nightmare for east end residents unless the big picture is addressed first."

In order to address the issue, McNeely is calling for a comprehensive transportation study that addresses the needs of east end residents, including extending light rail to Trim Road where it could serve thousands of east end commuters and ease the gridlock on Hwy. 174 and the Split.

"No bridge before light rail. What we're talking about is building a bridge for Gatineau that is going to wipe out any positives that will be achieved by widening the Queensway and fixing the Split," said McNeely.

The provincial government is spending $220 million over the next three years to fix the Split and widen the Queensway. McNeely says the additional traffic created by an interprovincial crossing will overwhelm the extra lanes that are being built to address the current congestion.

"As the representative of the residents of Ottawa-Orléans in the provincial legislature, it is my duty to stand up for my constituents and to speak out on their behalf," said McNeely.

"Light rail would not only ease the gridlock on Hwy. 174 and the 417, it would also enable the thousands of DND personnel currently living in the east end to stay in the east end after their jobs have been moved to the Nortel Campus in Kanata."

The Interprovincial Crossings Study is about to enter Phase 2B, during which an Evaluation Committee will decide on a preffered location for a bridge from among the three corridors currently up for consideration.

Corridor 5 runs along Montee Pairment in Quebec, it crosses the Ottawa River at Kettle Island and then follows the Aviation Parkway to the Split.

Corridor 6 runs along Lorraine Boulevard in Quebec, crosses Lower Duck Island and then over Green's Creek to a point on Hwy. 174 midway between Jeanne d'Arc Blvd. and Montreal Road.

Corridor 7 runs from the Gatineau Airport in the north and crosses the Ottawa River on a diagonal in close proximity to Convent Glen North. It then crosses the Greenbelt to the same proposed interchange as Corridor 6.

Based on 2008 extimates and adjusting for inflation, Corridor 5 would cost approximatley $414 million in today's dollars. Corridor 6 would cost $18 million more and Corridor 7, because of the length of the bridge, would cost $546 milliom.

The 20-member Evaluation Committee will chose a site based on a long list of factors and sub-factors covering everything from cost to the potential impact on local fish habitat.

A decision on a final preffered site is expected to be announced in the fall after which a detailed design and engineering process would take place.

McNeely is not waiting for a decision. He's convinced a bridge to Quebec would be detrimental to east end residents, no matter where it's built, nless light rail is extended to Orléans first.

Several east end city councillors are also lining up against a bridge in the east end partiularly at Corridor 6 or 7 where it would impact the Greenbelt.

In a joint press release issued by Stephen Blais and Bob Monette, the two councillors say a bridge at Green’s Creek impact residents for decades to come.

The two east end councillors stop short, however, in calling for light rail before a bridge is built. That said, Coun. Blais has tabled a motion to extend light rail to Orléans sooner rather than later, although it is not tied in to the construction of a new bridge.

East end residents will have a chance to get updated on the Interprovincial Crossings Environmental Assessment during an open house at the Shenkman Arts Centre next Friday, July 6from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

They will also be invited to provide their comments both at the meeting and online at http://www.ncrcrossings.ca/eval/evalname.php.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12



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