5:30 p.m., June 5)
MPP calls for light rail before new bridge to Quebec
By Fred Sherwin
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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,"
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
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.
5 runs along Montee Pairment in Quebec, it crosses the
Ottawa River at Kettle Island and then follows the Aviation
Parkway to the Split.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
a joint press release issued by Stephen Blais and Bob
Monette, the two councillors say a bridge at Greens
Creek impact residents for decades to come.
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.
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.
will also be invited to provide their comments both at
the meeting and online at http://www.ncrcrossings.ca/eval/evalname.php.
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