8:30 a.m., Feb. 29)
bridge consultants unveil 'preferred' alignments
By Fred Sherwin
consultants charged with the task of determining where
a new interprovincial bridge should be built unveiled
the preferred alignments for two out of the three previously
identified corridors at a community workshop Tuesday night.
than 100 residents whose homes back on to the proposed
routes in Convent Glen North were allowed to attend one
of two meetings which were held at the Bob MacQuarrie
word "allowed" is being used her to reflect
the fact that only half that number were original invited
through direct correspondence from the consultants, It
was only after news of the first workshop was circulated
to neighbours who hadn't been invited, that a second workshop
was quickly organized.
meeting itself began with a statement from Voyageur Drive
resident Hugh Carter who criticized the consultants for
failing to give people earlier prior knowledge of the
meetings, or to provide invitees with information or diagrams
of the preferred alignments.
is a new low. None of us were given any information beforehand.
We just came here and it's been dumped on us," said
Williamson, who acted as facilitator for the two meetings,
explained that the workshops were only recently added
to the public consultation process to give residents who
live in close proximity to the proposed corridors the
opportunity to provide input. Their comments would then
be used to "tweak" the alignments prior to the
next round of public scheduled consultations in May.
is a workshop, it's not a public meeting," explained
Williammson. "We wanted everyone to come in and look
at the maps with a fresh perspective and give us feedback."
consultant Angela Iannuzziello further explained that
the workshop came about as a result of the public consultation
process during the last phase of the Environmenrtal Assessment.
meetings were inserted into the process because we heard
in round two that the public consultation groups wanted
to be made aware of any new information as it unfolded,"
said Iannuzziello, who has replaced Steve Taylor as the
lead consultant on the project.
who attended the meetings got to see three large aerial
diagrams of the preferred alignments for Corridors 6 and
7. Corridor 7 has not changed from what was originally
presented in February 2009. The bridge would cross the
Ottawa River on a diagonal and come within 250 metres
of the homes on Voyageur Drive. It would then cross through
the NCC land on the north side of Hwy. 174, virtually
splitting them in half, and tie into Hwy. 174 half way
between the Rockcliffe Parkway overpass and Jeanne d'Arc
6 would cross the Ottawa River just to the east of Green's
Creek near the Rockcliffe Parkway and cross the NCC land
to the same spot on Hwy. 174 as Corridor 7.
of the comments made during the workshop echoed the objections
the community has had with the two corridors since they
were first made public.
short the residents don't want the Greenbelt touched;
they believe a bridge will only add to the already untenable
traffic situation on Hwy. 174; they are concerned about
the potential impact on the environment; the additional
noise pollution it will create and the impact it will
have on their property values.
majority of the residents were also upset at the fact
that they weren't allowed to see the preferred alignment
for Corridor 5, better known as Kettle Island and the
Aviation Parkway, which they unanimously referred to as
the preferred option.
preferred alignment for Corridor 5 is being unveiled at
a separate meeting for residents whose properties back
on to the Aviation parkway. Other workshops are being
held in Gatineau to gauge the response of residents living
on the other side of the river.
the preferred alignments are tweaked, they will be unveiled
at another series of public consultation meetings in May
along with the factors that will be considered in evaluating
the three options.
consultants will then go about evaluating the three alignments
through the summer and early autumn. The final preferred
corridor will be announced at the end of the year, along
with any mitigation measures that the consultants feel
are necessary to address the concerns of local residents.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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