Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, July 18


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


(Posted 1 p.m., May 14)
NCC study confirms Kettle Island as preferred location for future bridge

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

For the fourth time in four studies Kettle Island has been chosen as the preferred location for a future interprovincial crossing between Ontario and Quebec.

The National Capital Commission made the announcement during a technical briefing earlier this morning. The findings are principally the same as the conclusions reached by previous studies conducted in 1992 and 1999. In both cases political pressure brought to bear by the local MP and MPP in Ottawa-Vanier shelved the idea.

The current Interprovincial Crossings Environmental Assessment was supposed to end the debate over the future bridge once and for all, but if anything it's thrown more fuel on the fire.

Within hours of the NCC presentation, Ottawa-Orleans MPP Phil McNeely released a statement questioning the need for a bridge in the first place. In it he points out that the estimated cost has gone from $500 million to more than $1 billion and he cites a recent study conducted by the joint National Capital Region transportation committee which shows that interprovincial traffic volume has been on the decline since 2005.

"From a technical, taxpayer, and commuter point of view, any new bridge is not a good deal for my community," said McNeely who would rather see the money spent on making it easier for Orléans residents to get downtown rather than on Gatineau commuters trying to get to Ottawa.

"Given the number of commuters we currently have on Highways 417 & 174, there is simply no capacity to accommodate all the additional traffic that would come from Gatineau. The priority of Orléans is, fast and reliable transportation to the core of the city. Until we have light rail to Trim Road, I don't see how a new bridge can better serve us "

Opponents of an east end bridge believe the excess rush hour traffic coming to and from Gatineau will overwhelm the Queensway and wipe out any benefit that will be gained with the addition of an extra lane in both directios.

Members of the public will have their chance to once again weigh into the debate during an Open House at the Shenkman Arts Centre on May 27 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

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

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