• John Jantak

Pilon announces traffic relief measures and a caution to home buyers


JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon announced at the October 20 council meeting that both sides of the new bridge over Highway 40 will be open to traffic throughout the winter until next spring when the northbound side of the span will be closed again to complete the final phase of the project.

Traffic issues dominated a portion of the October 20 Vaudreuil-Dorion council meeting with the announcement that motorists will be able to use both sides of the St. Charles Avenue overpass at Highway 40 by mid-December, at least temporarily until next spring, and a cautionary note to home buyers considering purchasing a house near major thoroughfares and industrial zones.

Mayor Guy Pilon said motorists who have had to contend with weeks of traffic along St. Charles Avenue south of Highway 40 will soon get significant traffic relief because the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the avenue and connecting arteries are proceeding ahead of schedule. The rapid progress of the project permitted the city time to devise a contingency plan that will allow the entire structure, including the western part of the northbound section of the span that is currently under construction, to be used in its entirety throughout the winter and into early spring, said Pilon.

The plan, which was approved prior to the council meeting by Excavation Loiselle – the contractor overseeing the project – involves paving the northbound section with a temporary coat of asphalt that will be removed in the spring when construction will resume to complete the overpass. Pilon explained that that it is too late in the season for Excavation Loiselle to install the required membrane because the process has to be done above a certain temperature which is why construction to complete the bridge will only restart next spring when the weather gets warmer.

Rather than leaving the two vehicle lanes on the northbound side closed all winter, Excavation Loiselle agreed that the city’s proposal was a viable temporary solution that will help to alleviate traffic congestion from exiting westbound traffic off of Highway 40 during the peak weekday afternoon rush hour period. A bicycle path – also located on the northbound side of the span – will remain closed all winter and open only after construction is completed.

The issue of traffic noise was also raised during question period after a homeowner who bought a house six months ago on Jacques Plante Street complained about the noise coming from vehicle traffic along Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes and asked whether the city would consider erecting a sound barrier to stifle the noise. Pilon refused the request saying the onus is on each homebuyer to carefully research not only the immediate neighbourhood where they plan to purchase a house or a condo, but to take the time to consider the proximity of the property to major transportation corridors and industrial zones before making a purchase.

He politely suggested that the homeowner plant some trees behind her house as residents who bought houses in the development on the east side of Boulevard de la Cité des Jeunes did several years ago, and stressed that under no circumstances would the city erect a sound barrier. “We cannot put up a barrier just because someone bought a house on Jacques Plante,” Pilon told Your Local Journal.

“Cité des Jeunes is there and people know that it’s going to be enlarged eventually. People can come to the town and we’ll show you the plans that were made about seven years ago. “No one told them to move there,” added Pilon. “We will do what we can, but there will always be noise on Cité des Jeunes. I’ve lived on Cité des Jeunes all my life and in the last 10 years, it has become almost 100 per cent busier. It’s a boulevard.

It’s doing what it was designed to do, to keep traffic off the smaller residential streets.” In July, residents living in a condominium project along Forbes Street complained to council about how the noise from regular tractor trailer traffic coming and going from a nearby cardboard processing facility was adversely affecting residents’ quality of life and asked for the city to consider finding an alternate route to the plant. Council also declined the request saying it is strictly the responsibility of the home purchaser to do their homework to make sure they are making the right purchase in the right neighbourhood.

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