Councillor wants answers on Exit 41
Source: The Suburban
By Kevin Woodhouse, May 22nd, 2013
After several Ste. Anne de Bellevue residents expressed concern over the more than two year closure of Exit 41, former mayor Bill Tierney sent the citizens a response with his knowledge of the dossier. Councillor Paola Hawa reacted to the response, especially finding out through the former mayor that the exit need never have closed, according to a report by Genivar.
The 2009 filed report noted that while minor repairs were necessary, there was no immediate danger to motorists and that repairs between $20,000 to $50,000 would have taken care of the bridge, extending its lifespan for at least another half decade.
“Now the bridge has been closed for two years and repairs will cost three to four times the original cost,” Hawa told The Suburban. “Two joints needed to be replaced at the time but nothing was done.”
Now the city is pondering the use of a T section for the bridge and according to Mayor Francis Deroo, “we have submitted a proposal for agreement with the MTQ.”
Deroo told The Suburban that the exit was closed following a recommendation from the town’s engineer in March 2011 and for him, the decision to close the bridge was simply due to the fact that “there was no way we would put the safety of our citizens in danger and it was done because our engineer suggested it.”
He also found it interesting that the circulating e-mail from the former mayor knew about the issue in July 2009 but did nothing about it “considering he was still the mayor until November. If you have report like that, why not do something about it? Also, when we proposed the closing of the bridge, all councillors voted unanimously to close it,” Deroo said.
The MTQ has always maintained that due to Bill 22, the exit is the municipality’s sole responsibility with no plans for cost sharing.
“I’m not comfortable signing a blank cheque for the MTQ since the T intersection concept is only a month old,” Hawa said.
The councillor has heard from many constituents who call the closure of the exit for so long as “shameful”, “scandalous and should never have happened.”
For citizen Michel Belleau, who is also a member of the town’s Urban Planning Committee as well as the special planning program (SPP), the closure of the exit has created serious traffic flow issues on Morgan and Meloche and said that “citizens and companies in the industrial park will suffer with all of the traffic delays being caused. I’m surprised that a report in 2009 was only read after the election by the new administration.”