7:30 a.m., June 13)
groups form common front against interprovincial bridge
By Fred Sherwin
took three years, but east end community groups are finally
on the same page when it comes to opposing a new interprovincial
to 300 people from a variety of community groups gathered
outside the Shenkman Arts Centre on Tuesday night to say
in one loud voice, "No bridge!"
the past, community groups opposed to a bridge at Kettle
Island and the Aviation Parkway took the position that
a bridge should be built anywhere else but Kettle Island,
while the community groups opposed to a bridge in Orléans
were against building a bridge in the Greenbelt.
all the groups have made it clear, they are opposed to
a bridge at any of the locations - period.
sentiments were echoed by Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil
McNeely who took his turns at the megaphone to repeat
the same words, "No bridge!"
investing $220 million to fix the Split and widen the
Queensway and a new bridge, no matter where its built,
will take up all that extra capacity," said McNeely.
three biggest arguments against a bridge are cost, the
bridge will likely cost close to $1 billion by the time
it's built; conflicting truck traffic data that indicates
an interprovincial bridge in the east end would only remove
half of the truck traffic from downtown; and commuter
traffic projections that indicate bridge users will predominantly
be from Gatineau.
are we building a bridge for the people in Quebec using
our tax dollars. That money should stay here to solve
our own problems," said Convent Glen resident Al
the community groups were demonstrating outside the Shenkman
Arts Centre, the consultants charged with coming up with
a preferred location for a bridge were fielding hundreds
of questions from concerned residents who weren't afraid
to offer their opinions.
resident in particular said the bridge had nothing to
do with getting trucks out of the downtown, and everything
to do with developers in Gatineau wanting to get rich.
resident wanted to know if the truck traffic projections
took into account the completion of Hwy. 50 which will
link Gatineau and Montreal starting next year. The answer
was they hadn't. Nor have they done an air quality study,
or a noise pollution study. Both reports will be done
in the coming months, said deputy project manager Christopher
Interprovincial Crossings Study is entering a critical
stage. Once the remaining studies are completed, including
an updated traffic report, a 22-member panel of experts
will meet in September to determine where a bridge should
be built. The final recommendation is expected to be made
public in October or November. Then it's in the politicians
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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