Pitt Meadows residents concerned about noise and drainage issues associated with the Golden Ears Bridge are optimistic that TransLink will find solutions to their complaints.
A newly formed community action group, which met for the first time last week, has thrown out several fixes which the provincial transportation authority has promised to investigate. They include a parabolic, or cone-shaped device that can be installed on a wall to deflect the sound of trucks and cars away from the neighbourhood.
“I think they are honestly trying to fix the problems that are within their budget and within their control,” said Bill Collins, a resident of Wildwood Crescent who was chosen as chair for the group’s next meeting.
Collins will be providing TransLink a copy of a recording he made earlier this year when the bridge was shut down due to a suicide attempt, leading the “croaking” and “thumps” to disappear for several hours.
“That day was amazing. After a year or six months of having all this noise, all of a sudden we were back to the quiet we had before,” said Collins.
Testing done by TransLink has found that the cloth-like substance being inserted in between the bridge’s expansion joints has reduced the din from approximately 55 decibels to about 46. Most of the work on the bridge deck is complete.
Vincent Gonsalves, a community relations coordinator with TransLink, said the noise reductions exceed original expectations and have gone over and above provincial standards.
Many residents still want TransLink to install sinus-plates over the expansion joints – an expensive fix that Translink is not open to.
“In talking to the manufacture of the sinus plates, another option came up,” Gonsalves said, referring to the “geotextile” material that is currently being inserted in between the joints.
“We felt that it was a better option than the sinus plates.”
Although TransLink has no money set aside for specific solutions that the action group comes up with, there is cash set aside for maintenance that can be diverted towards it.
TransLink has committed to meet with the residents for the next six month, or longer if needed.
Pitt Coun. Bruce Bell, who attended the resident group’s first meeting along with councillors Doug Bing, Tracy Miyashita and Deb Walters, liked some of the solutions presented.
“The folks did get to vent,” said Bell.
“But once it got going, some good ideas came out of it. Let’s give it a chance. But ultimately, the proof is in the pudding.”
• The next meeting of the new Pitt Meadows community action group is set for Oct. 26.