News from Beaconsfield residents asking for a sound barrier protecting them from Highway 20 traffic noise have been emanating from city councils for many months though we have yet to see a sound barrier erected.
Last Monday night at the council meeting, a resident living on the north side of the Highway came to complain about the noise pollution created by the freight trains rolling on the tracks located just south of Elm Street.
“I have a serious concern about the notion of a sound barrier is acceptable with being looked into for the south side of the city but not the north side. We agree that the health issue is the same. And now the logic of having a sound barrier makes no sense. If there is a health issue, it should be looked at for both sides,” said Tina Verni.
Mayor David Pollock responded that the Transport Ministry (MTQ) has a program to pay for 50 per cent of sound barriers for highways but no measure to reduce noise caused by passing trains. He added there is money at the city to build a sound barrier next to the train tracks.
“There is no MTQ program to fund any type of sound wall for the noise caused by trains. By guessing here, we could say that a wall on the south side might cost $10 million dollars. In terms of 50 per cent cost, but on the north side, we’ve got to absorb 100 per cent of that cost. We’d be looking at $30 million dollars. Our debt right now is $13, $14 million dollars. We’re not going to triple our debt to build a sound wall on both sides of the tracks,” he said.
“It’s a question of money. That’s all it is. It’s not black, it’s not white. We all agree that there is a health issue. We just don’t know how we’re going to come up with all that money. That’s all it is,” added councillor Karin Essen.