PEI

Landowners affected by Cornwall bypass route still absorbing news

Landowners affected by the route of the new Cornwall Perimeter Highway say it is too early for them to comment on it.

Efforts will be made to negotiate sale of land fairly, says province

This intersection along the North River causeway is one of two being turned into a roundabout. (CBC News)

Landowners affected by the route of the new Cornwall Perimeter Highway say it is too early for them to comment on it.

The province announced the route Wednesday night, and held a meeting for landowners following the announcement.

Landowners were assured the province would make every effort to negotiate the sale or trade of their land fairly, and expenses for surveying, appraisal and legal fees would be covered by the Department of Transportation.

Four potential routes

The route was decided based on environmental, social, and economic impact, as well as the physical impact it would have, said Darrell Evans, assistant director for capital projects with the department.

Consultations with landowners were also held.

Consultants were hired to review four possible routes and to rank them based on the different criteria. The decided route got the highest score, with 76 points out of a possible 100.

'A little noisy'

"It's going to be a little noisy I guess," said Adele Jardine, who lives near the proposed route. "In the summertime when we have the windows and doors open I can even hear the TransCanada traffic now. That's going to be even closer."

Gar Andrew, who also lives near the proposed route, said he has plans to rally neighbours and make their concerns known.

"We are going to send a little letter around to all our neighbhours, asking them to contact the MLAs and the MP for the area, just to express concern about it," he said.

Hopes to negotiate land within a year

The affected landowners were given a package to take home with them from the meeting, said Evans.

The department told CBC the province owns about a third of the land required.

The route for Cornwall Perimeter Highway. (Government of P.E.I. )

He said independent appraisals of the affected properties will be conducted, and following the appraisals, the province will contact the owners to make an offer on the land.

"We're hoping that [it will take] about a year, at most," he said.

None of the affected landowners that attended the meeting were willing to speak to CBC, saying it was too soon after they received the news.

Support from town

This phase of the project will also require an environmental assessment, which Evans said should take place within a year.

Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt said the municipality supports the new route and now that the decision is made, the town can move forward with long-term planning.

Construction on phase one of the highway began on Tuesday.

With files from Jessica Doria-Brown and Brian Higgins

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