Pollyanna And The Tories
In addition, expect news stories, columns and editorials ad nauseum on why Windsor deserves the best by having a tunnel built here for the road between Highway 401 and the Ambassador Bridge's new Enhancement project. [Why doubt it any more...their project is what is going to be built once reality finally sets in so get on with life!].
- Truck emissions linked to higher cancer rates
Dave Battagello, Windsor, Tuesday, December 19, 2006
People living next to busy trucking corridors have two to six times greater cancer risk than average, according to a report released by a California coalition detailing escalating health damages caused by diesel emissions. Diesel pollution is the worst toxic air contaminant in California, responsible for 70 per cent of the state's air pollution-related cancer risk, said the report.
- Danger of diesel fumes probed
Dave Battagello, December 20, 2006
Mounting evidence linking higher rates of cancer, lung ailments and heart disease with diesel exhaust is a growing concern in Windsor and across Ontario that warrants further investigation, according to a senior scientist with a Toronto environmental watchdog group.
I must admit that I do not recall seeing too many stories on how truck pollution will drop dramatically over the next decade with new technology for trucks and with changed diesel fuel. Did the Star report when Ontario Minister Cansfield said to the Chamber of Commerce back in September:
- "People in Windsor and Essex County should also know that new truck emissions standards come into effect in January 2007. A combination of new engines and lower-sulphur fuel will eventually cut emissions by more than 90 per cent.The average truck life is about five to seven years, according to the transport industry… that means by the year 2012 – 2014 trucks will have these new engines with reduced harmful emissions."
Do you remember the Star quoting Ontario Minister Cansfield's comments about tunnelling at their Editorial board meeting? She talked about tunnel challenges including natural ground condition and constructability, soil conditions, high water table, operational issues if emergencies, getting out of a tunnel for fire and safety issue, access from freeway to neighbourhood. ventilation and fumes have to come out to be dispersed, how fumes are dissipated.I wonder why not.
Our Pollyanna, our cheerfully optimistic Columnist, Gord Henderson will talk about every tunnel built under the sun over the next few months to demonstrate why other Canadians should pay billions for us while ignoring the traffic in their own home towns. (By the way, have we Windsorites offered to pay a billion or two for our share of the tunnel costs yet or is that something that Eddie will spring on us next as part of a P3 deal with, say, Borealis or Macquarie Bank, as part of his Detroit-Windsor Tunnel salvage plan?).
Gord told us about the Irish Dublin Port Tunnel. What he did not tell us however was:
- it took longer to build than projected (two years behind schedule and has missed at least four separate completion deadlines).
- it cost much more than projected (from €580m to €715 million to €752 million with the possibility of £240m more for "unforeseen elements").
- it may have been designed improperly with many larger trucks unable to use it because of height restrictions (one report said more than half of the trucks operating in Britain won’t fit in it)
- tolls are charged to cars, taxis, motorcycles and car vans/light commercial vehicles but NOT to heavy trucks
- tolls for cars at their highest charge for the 4.5 Km tunnel are €12 or about $18.50 each way
- parts of the tunnel were cracked and leaking water at one time requiring immediate repair
- the tunnel was bored, a process that cannot be done in Windsor
- there were almost 200 complaints of damage to buildings during construction
Of course an "opinion piece" disguised as a news story in Tuesday's Star listed a number of projects around the world that built tunnels. By the way, one that was mentioned was one I would not have used as a model: the Ted Williams Tunnel, part of the Big Dig in Boston.
The reporter should have remembered that the accident in the Big Dig where four concrete slabs, each weighing at least three tons, fell from the ceiling took place in a 200-foot section of tunnel that links Interstate 93 and the Massachusetts Turnpike to the Ted Williams Tunnel. There were also safety tests undertaken on epoxy bolts upholding concrete ceiling panels in the Ted Williams Tunnel.
We had heard all of this before so why the crusade? Only the cynical amongst us would say that it is designed to help a certain political figure build up momentum for him to be elected to be the Saviour of Windsor. How else would a Tory ever get elected here? You will vote for the man, not the Party!
Saving Windsor and fighting crime...what a power-packed duo for future success.