Trying to deal with district

Concerns with new bridge to be built over North Alouette River this year.

Editor, The News:

Re: Petition started to save Silver Valley school site (Jan. 18).

I live at 232nd Street and 132nd Avenue, adjacent to the bridge over the North Alouette River – due for rebuild this year.

I have a number of concerns related to the construction of the new bridge, and the new high school planned for across the road.

The district needed some of my land to build the foundations for the bridge. There has been no legal agreement so far, yet a construction date has been published.

I’m concerned about the impact of pile driving on my property, since it was damaged after the last pile driving for bridge repair a few years ago.  The municipality repaired the damage at that time, but cracks remain.

I have numerous environmental concerns, not least of which is increased traffic noise, loss of privacy. I worry of runoff from the bridge entering the river, entering my septic field, damaging my septic system.

The News reported last year on a property owner in Pitt Meadows trying to get compensation for the damage to his septic system after municipal work.  He failed.

Reading the recent article renews my concerns for my own property and quality of life.

The other day I phoned municipal hall to try to get a date for the public open house for the bridge rebuild. I was told that it would be mid-year. Yet the bridge is planned for reconstruction mid-year.

David Pollock, district engineer, got back to me:

“We want to start construction in the middle of the year so any consultation will be in the early months of the year.”

So there is no date yet for a public open house.

I’m not convinced that my concerns will be properly addressed by the District of Maple Ridge. I have past experience with the municipality – the roundabout on 232nd St. is on the edge of my property line. When all the mature trees separating my property from the road were marked for removal before the roundabout was built, I was given no warning at all, despite attending all open houses and adding my concerns about the removal of trees to their database of comments from the public.

I worry about the bridge rebuild daily. Trying to get the district to listen is an uphill battle.

I am one person against a municipality that appears not to care about the residents of this town. It saddens me when I hear yet another horror story.

I don’t have an option to move, nor do I want to.

Anne Dawson

Maple Ridge