Opinion

News Views: The biggest wall

The wall TransLink built to buffer Pitt Meadows residents from the sounds of roaring traffic on the Golden Ears Bridge is too small – not high enough.

Now it has to be replaced, meaning taxpayers have to pay for this wall twice.

This comes from TransLink, which seems to be crying constantly about a lack of money.

The organization seems to be hard of hearing, as well.

Pitt residents raised the issue of noise well before the Golden Ears Bridge was constructed. They pushed for sinus plates, requested a higher wall, but were ignored.

TransLink instead constructed a wall that was shorter than the large semi-trailers that criss-cross the span daily. As a result, residents hear a constant din, croaks and burps each time a heavy truck crosses the bridge.

Derek Thorkelson, a professor of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University and a Wildwood Crescent resident, wanted interlocking expansion joints on the bridge. He studied them and figures they would provide the best acoustical outcome.

But TransLink instead went with a flawed design of glued-in rubber strips between existing joints, which, after a few months, pop out and lie strewn on the bridge deck.

Residents are still paying the price – with disturbed sleeps and daytime annoyance.

There is no money currently set aside for sinus plate installation.

But the wall will be replaced, 1.5 metres higher than the existing one, for $817,000.

And regional mayors want to add a new tax to help fund TransLink?

If TransLink had done a little more homework during the consultation phase for bridge, had it not cut corners to save a few dollars, had it actually listened to residents, it would have saved everyone money in the end, not to mention the frustration of trying to right a wrong. What a waste, of money and energy.

As Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters said, do the job right the first time.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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