• John Jantak

Traffic backup at ecocentre blocks bike lane on Henry Ford Road


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Things are now back to normal at the Vaudreuil-Soulanges ecocentre in Vaudreuil-Dorion after the long holiday weekend when so many residents arrived to dispose of old electronics and construction materials that traffic blocked the bicycle lane on Henry Ford Road.

The Vaudreuil-Soulanges ecocentre has become a victim of its own success, so much so that a backlog of vehicles snaked down from the welcome centre and onto Henry Ford Road in Vaudreuil-Dorion, blocking the bicycle path on the east side of the road last Saturday and Sunday.

The issue was raised by a resident at the Monday evening council meeting who asked whether anything could be done to avoid the blockage of the bicycle path in the future. Mayor Guy Pilon replied the previous two weekends in May are the busiest for the ecocentre.

“I saw it for myself,” Pilon told The Journal. “There were cars parked on the bicycle path.”

Spring cleaning ritual

The second and third weekends in May are when people from throughout the region bring their old electronics and construction materials from renovation projects to be disposed of in an ecologically friendly manner. Pilon said construction materials comprise more than 50 per cent of all the items that are brought to the facility.

“The resident asked if they can go faster. It’s not the point of going faster. It’s because so many people brought their materials at the same time during the weekend which caused a long line to form leading all way from the ecocentre, even though the welcome centre is almost 300 feet from Henry Ford,” said the mayor.

People going at the same time

It takes longer to dispose of construction materials because people usually have a pickup or trailer full of items. It can take from five to 10 minutes to unload construction items compared to someone who only wants to dispose of an old microwave oven or TV. “They were overwhelmed. Every stall was taken,” said Pilon.

“It’s good news because the ecocentre is very well used but there’s a little bit of inconvenience especially in May. People are all bringing their items there at the same time,” said Pilon

Pilon said it’s not feasible to expand the facility by adding more collection spaces. “It’s impossible. We’ll see if there’s a miracle way to do something, but I don’t see it. I will ask the MRC to see if they can propose a solution to the problem,” said Pilon.

City hall lease extended

The city adopted a resolution to extend the lease at its current location on Dutrisac Street until April 2024 as a precaution just in case construction of its new city hall at the proposed civic centre on Émile-Bouchard Street is unexpectedly delayed. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and should be completed by 2022.

“Our lease is supposed to end in 2021 so we want to add a few more years to our lease just to make sure we are safe. We have the option to drop out if we want. We don’t want to take a chance. If everything goes well, we won’t need those extra years,” said Pilon.

New ultraviolet disinfection unit

A resolution was also adopted to add a third ultraviolet disinfection unit at the city’s water filtration plant. The $1.5 million addition will add another level of protection and prevent the city from issuing boil water advisories, said Pilon.