Monday, January 03, 2005

Parallel Freeway Urgent

To accommodate 50-yr build out, London vowed to protect a ring corridor even as it approved subdivisions to the north border. No problem. Just route it through the township. Result: Rather than intersect their major north/south roads with a provincially funded freeway, London and Middlesex lock horns.
Meanwhile , Dorchester, Mt. Brydges and Strathroy complain about bearing the brunt of 401 closures due to accidents and weather. When the city and its neighbours fail to see a road around such problems, the Transport Ministry naturally allocates our fuel taxes to new 400-series projects in more cohesive regions.
Queen's Park will soon legislate our region's landfills as a quick fix for GTA's trash overflow. Smart politicians might join in advancing a long-term solution -deposit residential waste in salt caverns -and use methane to generate electricity. The salt beds have remained sealed since the primordial ocean evaporated eons ago. Saline leaching never threatened our freshwater lakes. Let the finest minds in hydrology determine if aquatic life and drinking water would be at risk.
Rather than a local landfill crisis and a far-out commuter ring, better a provincially financed garbage road and trade corridor. Our NAFTA-driven economy depends on moving the freight just in time. The province knows that without a northern freeway, US gateway improvements will soon choke the sole mid-west truck route, and that for national security reasons alone a parallel freeway is imperative.
Neighbouring counties and London win big with a 403 extension sweeping by Arva over to the 402. Normally, it takes a coalition of municipalities seven years to get the province to complete a highway needs study. The garbage crisis shortens that time frame. But, as more garbage trucks pound the 401/402 and irate Michiganders quack foul, the trash coalition reacts rather than pro-acts.
In Strathroy Age Dispatch and TheLondoner in spring 2003

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