This is absolutely unacceptable.
Source: Gazette Vaudreuil-Soulanges
Home » Ste. Anne de Bellevue, This Week, Vaudreuil-Soulanges » Councillor regrets closing Exit 41
by Meghan Low
STE. ANNE DE BELLEVUE — The Exit 41 overpasses off Highway 40 should never have been closed in the first place, according to councillor Paola Hawa.
Back in 2009, a Genivar report recommended short-term repairs, but the council voted to close the overpasses in March 2011 instead. Hawa says she wasn’t able to get her hands on the report until last month.
“The Genevar report did not say the overpasses were in such a state that they had to be closed immediately,” Hawa said Monday. “There were two areas of the overpasses that needed to be repaired within the following six months.”
The report recommended immediate minor repairs at an estimated cost of $100,000 that would have bought the town another five to ten years to negotiate a long-term solution with the provincial government.
“I remember the day we voted to shut them down,” says Hawa. “I voted to close them.
“At the time our engineer said they are in bad shape, they are dangerous, I am sensitive to anything that puts people’s lives in danger,” she added. “What happened after that is this thing became a life of it’s own, it became a political poker game.”
Former mayor Bill Tierney claims the town closed the exit without the support of the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ).
“[The town] decided without MTQ approval to close the bridge, probably in a gamble to see if they could oblige the MTQ to intervene,” Tierney wrote in a May 4 email. “This was a game of poker that the council lost.”
He also accuses mayor Francis Deroo and former director general Karl Sacha Langlois of not knowing enough about the file to negotiate with the MTQ. He notes that neither one was inconvenienced by the closure, but does not explain why.
The town engineer at the time was Daniel Doran who Tierney claims didn’t have any civil or municipal experience prior to taking on the new position in Oct. 2010.
The latest proposed solution involves a T-intersection at chemin Ste. Marie with a traffic light or stop sign. Hawa isn’t sold on the idea quite yet.
“I believe it needs some serious thought and evaluation. I’d like to see three options on the table, the pros the cons and the cost,” Hawa says.