Pitt Meadows won’t form bridge noise committee

Residents fear ongoing concerns about the Golden Ears Bridge will be ignored

TransLink has been installing more sound-absorbing material in the bridge expansion joints.

TransLink has been installing more sound-absorbing material in the bridge expansion joints.

Pitt Meadows residents concerned about noise and drainage issues associated with the Golden Ears Bridge will have to take on TransLink by themselves after the City of Pitt Meadows opted not to form its own committee to address residents’ concerns.

Pitt Meadows council instructed staff last month to look into holding a stakeholders meeting as an avenue to bring residents’ ongoing concerns to TransLink.

However, Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean said it’s not the City of Pitt Meadows’ responsibility to make such a move.

“The bridge is owned by TransLink, and it is located in Maple Ridge,” MacLean said at last Tuesday’s Pitt Meadows council in committee meeting. “Our staff are stretched a mile wide and an inch deep as it is.”

MacLean instead encouraged residents to take part in TransLink’s newly formed community action group.

In an email sent to area residents, TransLink states the group will “give the community a chance to work with TransLink and City of Pitt Meadows staff over the upcoming months to continue addressing concerns relating to noise generated by users of the Golden Ears Bridge.”

Mike Stark is one of dozens of residents on Wildwood Crescent who have been fighting with TransLink since the bridge was first proposed. He said without the formal representation of the city, the concerns of residents are likely to be ignored by TransLink.

“We have tried to get the City of Pitt Meadows to step up and take responsibility … and they are ducking it,” Stark said. “It should not be up to citizens to take on TransLink, TransLink is a behemoth.”

Stark is concerned the city will ultimately sign off on the bridge construction work without the noise and drainage issues being addressed.

“The work is supposed to be done to Pitt Meadows’ satisfaction,” Stark. “So clearly they have an obligation to make sure this work is done.”

Stark said he hopes to see Pitt Meadows councillors in attendance at the community action group meetings, in an official capacity.

“We hoped [Pitt Meadows] council would chair the committee,” said Stark. “They have an obligation to the citizens.”

Chief among residents’ concerns is the noise wall which separates traffic on the bridge approach from the residential community.

The noise wall isn’t long enough or high enough, Stark contends.

“It’s only 10 feet high here, and they say it can’t go any higher,” he said. “But the one on Lougheed Highway is 12 feet high.”

TransLink recently installed cloth-like inserts to reduce noise caused by vehicles driving over the bridge’s expansion joints.

Work on the remaining joints will be complete by early August.

However, TransLink said last month it won’t be pursuing any upgrades to the existing noise walls.

One family on the street recently had to pay $12,000 for triple-glazed windows as a result of the noise, Stark said.

“There’s been a lot of for-sale signs up, all up and down the street,” he said. “People are tired of it.”

Maple Ridge News