Noise concerns trump off-peak construction

SARNIA, Ont. — The thought of being stuck in traffic in the middle of summer is never appealing, but Sarnia, Ont. officials would take it over the sound of construction in the middle of the night.

According to the Ontario Trucking Association, Sarnia’s city council rejected a plan by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation — which had the support of the Bluewater Bridge, local businesses and OTA — to amend the city’s noise bylaw in order to allow construction on Highway 402 to occur in off-peak hours during the summer.

MTO is in the process of making improvements to Highway 402 in both directions, including adding two new westbound lanes, adding changeable message signs to alert motorists of traffic issues, adding concrete barriers separating traffic, and improving bridges and interchanges that connect with the highway.

Without the bylaw amended, the construction work will have to be done during the daytime when traffic volumes are at their peak, which according to the OTA could cause traffic chaos in the approach to the second busiest commercial border crossing between Canada and the U.S.

In a letter to Mayor Mike Bradley and city council, the OTA said it was imperative that two lanes of traffic be maintained as much as possible during peak traffic periods.

Traffic crossing into the States ranges from 3,000 to 7,000 cars and 2,000 to 3,500 trucks per day.
 

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