• John Jantak

Ste. Anne’s applies to province for sound barrier financial assistance


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A view Brown Street in Ste. Anne de Bellevue on November 13. The city adopted a resolution at the Monday council meeting to ask the provincial government to determine whether the city is eligible for a subsidy to help build a sound barrier.

A resolution was adopted at the Ste. Anne de Bellevue council meeting on November 12 to ask the provincial government to determine whether the city is eligible for a subsidy to help defray the costs of building a sound barrier.

The request is in line with plans discussed by the city for several years to eventually build a sound wall to help deflect noise from traffic along a section of Highway 20.

“When the autoroute was built, houses were demolished and land expropriated. Some of the houses still standing have been there between 80 to almost 100 years. These were not supposed to be next to an autoroute,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Journal.

High sound levels

“We always felt it was important to have a sound barrier. It’s been talked about for at least the past 15 years. Now we’re at the point where we’re financially stable and want to see if it’s feasible,” said Hawa. “If we find out it’ll be subsidized for only 50 per cent, then we don’t have the funds for that. But if we can get a 75 per cent subsidy like Lachine got many years ago, it’s something we could look into.”

The city has conducted its own noise studies and found the sound levels along Highway 20 are higher than government norms.

“The acceptable provincial level is 55 decibels. We’re much higher than that. In some areas it’s at 60 to 65 decibels,” Hawa said.

Long waiting time

The mayor noted the city is just making a request. It’ll take much longer to have a project approved if the request is accepted. Hawa noted that Beaconsfield is still trying to get provincial funding for a sound barrier despite making a formal request several years ago.

“The Ministry of Transport is very reluctant to subsidize these projects but we have to try. It’s a project that’s going to take years. It’s not something that is going to be resolved within one year but we have to start somewhere,” added Hawa.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A view of scaffolding attached to the Ste. Anne de Bellevue water tower on November 13. Mayor Paola Hawa said work to finish the restoration work should be completed within the next two weeks.

Water tower restoration

Restoration work is continuing to finish repairs to the exterior concrete structure and complete the paint job on the Ste. Anne’s iconic water tower. The renovations were scheduled to be completed by early October but the deterioration in some sections was more severe than expected.

“It’s a bigger job than we anticipated,” said Hawa. “There were a lot of pock-marks to fill in. The workers are working behind a tarp enclosure that is heated. It’s coming along very well. We’re hoping it will be completed within the next two weeks. It’ll be nice when the tarp comes down, like a Christmas present.”

The city has received many positive comments now that the west side of the tower has been restored. “Everybody is very happy with the way the completed portion looks. It’s clean and looks classy. The tower is a source of pride for our municipality,” said Hawa. “I’m very pleased.”

Highway 20 left turn update

City council’s decision to prohibit traffic from turning left from the village along Saint-Pierre Street north onto Highway 20 westbound between 4 and 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday has worked out better than anticipated.

“It’s beyond our wildest dreams. It’s been phenomenal,” said Hawa. “It’s going super, super well. The feedback we’ve received from people who live in the village that were subjected to the constant traffic gridlock is that they’re finally getting their life back. The police (SPVM) have also done a fantastic job supporting us.”

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