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Public Opinion Survey Supports Separate Access Road to Dartmouth Plant
(Tuesday, May 27/2003)-- Further public consultation with residents of the Dartmouth community that will host the new sewage treatment plant on the former Coast Guard lands has revealed overwhelming support for a new, separate access road to the plant.
Results of the recent HRM public opinion survey of the host community show that almost seven out of 10 respondents ( 68%) reaffirmed support for the municipality's decision not to use existing residential streets for construction and operations traffic to the plant.
In addition, 71% of those polled favored HRM's alterative plan to build a separate access road to reach the plant site.
Mayor Peter Kelly and Woodside Councillor Bruce Hetherington said they were committed to the public input and consultation process and were pleased with the results of the survey.
Mayor Kelly said "I believe there can be no doubt now that citizens residing in the area of the new plant prefer to have a separate access road. It will not only preserve the residential character of their neighborhood, but the separate access road will also provide greater public safety by keeping plant traffic away from their local streets."
Councillor Hetherington said "HRM has been meeting with the local Community Liaison Committee for Dartmouth since the site was identified and I am pleased that the results of this latest survey were overwhelmingly in favor of a separate access road. Aside from the public safety issue, it will work well with plans to develop the new multi-use trail and parklands for that area."
During the construction phase, HRM plans is to divert plant traffic onto Pleasant Street, at Acadian Street. The primary reason is to divert plant construction traffic from the two-lane portion of Pleasant Street, and to avoid large trucks turning onto narrow residential streets to reach the plant.
HRM plans to install traffic signals at the intersection of the new access road, Pleasant Street and Acadian Street to assist plant traffic turning from Pleasant Street onto the access road. From this intersection, Pleasant Street is four-lanes to the Circumferential Highway. The intersection will also serve as the construction access and later, the main campus access for the new Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth.
To date, there have been three public meetings held with community stakeholders, HRM parks planners, Harbour Solutions Project staff, the Waterfront Development Corporation, an Engineering Consultant and a landscape architect to determine the best manner to coordinate the design of the access road, the multi-use trail to be built and additional parklands and look-offs in the area.
The Dartmouth Community Liaison Committee has requested that the $1 million designated to the area from the Harbor Solutions Community Integration Fund be used for the construction and maintenance of the HRM portion of the multi-use trail.
As part of the Nova Scotia/HRM Memorandum of Agreement for cost-sharing on funding for the Harbour Solutions Project, the municipality will receive additional lands at the Dartmouth site, valued at approximately $2 million. Of this total eight acres of Provincial land, 6.5 acres will be used for community parkland and 1.5 acres will be used for the treatment plant, access road and the multi-use trail.
An additional 7.5 acres will be purchased from the Federal government for parkland (6.5 acres) and access road and trail (one acre). Once construction of the treatment plant is completed, the trail will be connected to a waterfront boardwalk around the plant itself.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Waterfront Development Corporation to connect and co-ordinate the HRM multi-use trail with the existing trail, extending southward towards the Woodside ferry terminal. Eventually, the HRM multi-use trail will connect on the northern side to trails extending to the Macdonald Bridge.
Over the approximate 24-month plant construction period, there will be up to 500 vehicular trips per day and although operational traffic numbers will be minimal (15-20 vehicular trips per day) these will include chemical deliveries and an 18-wheel sludge truck daily to/from the plant.
Both Mayor Kelly and Councillor Hetherington extends their thanks to the Dartmouth citizens who provided input on the road issue by participating in the recent survey.
Mayor Peter Kelly
Councillor Bruce Hetherington