New plan for York Road Bridge construction
Government says it listened to concerns of residents
Residents in the York area are much happier with the new route chosen to divert traffic during upcoming construction on the York Road bridge.
Initially, the Department of Transportation came up with a plan that would divert traffic nearly 20 kilometres causing a lot of concern for residents. Many attended two public meetings to voice their concerns to government. After that the department went back to the drawing board.
"We go to public meetings to get feedback from the public and hear what they had to say, " said Stephen Yeo, P.E.I.'s transportation department chief engineer.
"We heard loud and clear that there were some concerns from the agricultural industry, the fire department had some concerns with the length of the detour and the general public. So we went back and looked at the options of what we could do."
A new plan
What they came up with was building a temporary bridge and bypass road that will allow two-way traffic to go around the construction.
The new route will only run about 150 metres, much shorter than the original plan. That is making many locals happy.
They got a look at the new route at a public meeting earlier this week and the majority were pleased, according to Debbie Barry, who was in attendance.
"It was a much better feeling after the more recent community meeting," she said. "The engineers came, they had obviously heard what the community was concerned about, they had gone back and rethought the plans and had come up with something that was much more appropriate or palatable for the community members. "
Learning from mistakes
But although she's happy, she hopes government will learn from this situation for next time.
"I think that the frustration is that a lot of this could have been avoided had there been consultation in the first place, prior to the setting up of a plan," Barry said.
Construction on the bypass road will begin the first week of October and it's expected that vehicles will be rerouted that way by the middle of the month. Then the construction on the new bridge will begin.