September 10, 2020 – According to a preliminary pre-project study commissioned by the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) for the construction of a sound wall along a 5km stretch on the south side of Highway 20 in Beaconsfield, costs will increase by 127% from $20.5M to $46.6M.
 
“This is a substantial increase considering that the MTQ’s pre-project study is only at the preliminary stage. Yet five years ago, the minister at that time had guaranteed that there would be no cost overrun, and the budget would be respected”, recalls Mayor Georges Bourelle.
 
In 2015, Beaconsfield had reached an advantageous agreement with the then minister that the City would contribute 25% or approximately $5M of the implementation costs. “This was already a major commitment for our City considering the relative impact of such an expense on our budget”, indicates the mayor.
 
Since the beginning of this project, Mayor Bourelle has maintained the necessity of a citizen’s consultation and approval for a financial participation of the City in view of its sanitary, geographic and financial impact. This is even more significant today: “The skyrocketing costs make the social acceptability of this project even more difficult”, says the mayor.
 
According to a survey conducted among citizens by a renowned independent firm, the community is deeply polarized on the pertinence of the wall and the cost-sharing between districts. 
 
The preliminary pre-project study shows that the wall with a height of 4 to 4.5m, erected from east to west, will allow for a noise reduction varying between 7 to 13 decibels. Current noise levels vacillate between 63 to 71 decibels over 24 hours. In its policy on traffic noise adopted in 1998, the MTQ acknowledges its share of responsibility regarding sound pollution generated by road traffic. The MTQ has committed to intervening if the anticipated reduction by mitigation measures is at least 7 decibels.
 
In order to continually ensure a transparent decision process, Mayor Bourelle and members of Municipal Council will request MTQ officials to present the project in a public meeting once the final report is completed.