Is E C Row Safe
You remember the story from last year in Montreal:
- "A stretch of three lanes of the viaduct, part of Boulevard de la Concorde, gave way, dropping onto Highway 19 below, causing three vehicles and a motorcycle on the overpass to plunge 15 metres."
In that tragedy, five people were killed and six injured.
I was going through the Cansult study section about E C Row recently. That Report raised a controversy that the expressway would be used for international trucks. In reading it, the following jumped out at me:
- "It is understood that the existing condition of the concrete base on the expressway and at least several of the interchange structures is less than satisfactory due to alkali-silica reactions occurring due to the type of aggregate used. As a result, it may be appropriate to consider the possibility of coordinating the rehabilitation/reconstruction of the expressway at the same time that the median widening is undertaken to take advantage of the traffic staging and cost efficiencies."
- "[In 2004] E. C. Row Expressway from www.worstroads.ca
"Very dangerous, especially to people from out of town. Too many on/off ramps that are too close together.
"Daily incidents of road rage are caused by (the) design of (the) road. This so-called expressway needs to be completely rethought."
- "[In 2004] John Tofflemire, city engineer, said the E.C. Row is a rural expressway based on a decades-old design that's functioning in a congested urban setting."
- "[In 2005] The city has close to 1,000 kilometres of roads, excluding E.C. Row Expressway, with 20 per cent rated as "deficient," meaning they need immediate work. In order to prevent further deterioration, an average of $13.8 million needs to be spent annually.
This year $8.4 million for road rehab is budgeted, although that is up substantially from last year's $4.55 million.
We have an overwhelming infrastructure deficit," Tofflemire said. "Even before a nickel gets cut out of this year's budget, it's going to be inadequate. What councillors have to decide is how much can be deferred...
The council committee did cut funds for E.C. Row repairs from a budgeted $2 million to $1 million. The perpetual cost to preserve the road is listed at $2.5 million by public works. Council spent $900,000 on the expressway this past year."
- In 2003, we learned that maintenance costs then an "estimated $2-million-per-year pricetag for annual upkeep of the roadway."
Windsor has a mess with E C Row since it is our road and it is our obligation to maintain it before we have a tragedy here.
I wanted to find out if the Ministry of Transportation had any studies on E C Row. I heard they did and so I sent out an email yesterday asking but I have not heard back yet.
I just wish that decision-makers were honest with us and tell us what is really going to happen with the border but no such luck given what has happened so far. If I am right about the use of E C Row, then I can imagine what may happen.
It will be put as Cansult said:
- "If the widening of E.C. Row Expressway to six lanes were undertaken, some spare capacity may exist in the mid-term to consider the use of E.C. Row itself as a secondary route to Huron Church Road, in lieu of the over $200 - $300 million truck bypass route proposed in the Schwartz Report. In the anticipation that the use of E.C. Row Expressway as a secondary route would only be a mid-term condition (until a new border crossing is constructed), the work associated with the widening and upgrading of the expressway would serve a double duty in satisfying both the mid-term and longer-term needs of the City of Windsor."
If it can be done properly, then perhaps he will not be so hostile after all.
- "Our experts have told us there is a way to get trucks across the border without having to carve through a community."
Things were starting to fall into place slowly but surely. We were being conned by all levels.
I looked at the Cansult map about roads to the border. See below
Amazingly, it looked an awful lot like the Joint Management Committee map which started all of this mess. You know what, it may wind up being our road system except it took a few extra years to get there didn't it. The Senior Level bureaucrats may have outlasted us since our Mayor and Council are so weak with their own border agenda.
The other odd feature....all roads on the map lead to the Ambassador Bridge with not a DRIC Bridge in site. Cansult was issued in September, 2005, just weeks before DRIC kicked out the twinned bridge from their study.
And you thought my idea that DRIC was a phony process designed to force the Bridge Co. to sell out was merely a theory. Look at the map and dare tell me I am wrong!
PS. CTV just reported:
- "MONTREAL -- Quebec's transport department is preparing to limit heavy trucks from crossing 135 bridges and overpasses around the province until it can ensure the structures are safe.
Transport Quebec wants to ban certain tractor trailers and heavy-load trucks from parts of its road network so it can inspect structures thought to be at risk."