By Sue Tiffin
has asked staff for more information about a request to bypass the
noise bylaw after hearing concerns from the Oxtongue Lake community
about potential noise caused by a Highway 60 rehabilitation project.
to a staff report brought to Algonquin Highlands council on May 2 by
David Rogers, chief building official, the Ministry of Transportation is
conducting the rehabilitation project on almost 21 km of Highway 60
from the intersection of Highway 35 to the Algonquin Park gates from May
2020 to September 2020. The project will include the use of excavators,
backhoes, dump trucks, soil compactors and diesel generators.
ask has been made from the MTO to be exempt from the noise bylaw, for
an extension of work hours from July 18 to Sept. 7 in order to complete
the work as quickly as possible. Rogers said the request is a standard
hours of operation due to a municipal noise bylaw allows for work
between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with no construction on weekends, long weekends
and early end times on Friday, but the request asks for the option to
work extended hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Thursday.
Jennifer Dailloux said she had spoken to a “good number” of residents
in Oxtongue Lake about the construction and potential noise disruption.
She said while residents were grateful that work would be done on the
road and that the intention was to get it done quickly, they had some
devil’s in the detail for a lot of folk,” said Dailloux. “They’re
obviously concerned about the noise continuing on until fairly late at
night. The general consensus in the community has been, could we ask for
a little bit more information from the ministry before making a final
decision and the reason for that is three-fold.”
first point, Dailloux said, was that “generally people are saying,
wouldn’t it be nice if they could speed, speed, speed through the work
until they hit the settlement of Oxtongue Lake and then go down to
regular working hours again so that there isn’t the noise going through
the entire settlement for an undisclosed period of time as of yet, and
then, as soon as they pass, continue on at the higher rate of speed.”
She said the concern about that possible strategy was whether or not the nearby pit would be used.
they’re planning on using the [pit], which is very loud and the noise
does carry considerably, if that’s a July through September activity
until 11 o’clock at night, then the good folks of Oxtongue Lake are
saying, please, help us to salvage our summer and not allow that to
number two, said Dailloux, is that on the assumption the pit would not
be used late at night, and the increased rate could happen, residents
were asking how much time would be required.
it’s one night that they’re going to be working until 11 p.m. then
maybe that would be a great thing, just get it done and over with, but
if it’s over a two-week period of time, that’s quite different.”
noted that Oxtongue Lake is home to about seven or eight resorts
hosting about 1,000 people a night in the summertime, with most of those
visitors coming for a week.
if you can imagine, you’ve got a week off for your summer vacation, you
go up to the Blue Spruce or to Lakewoods or whatever it is and and
you’ve got that noise going until 11 o’clock every night on your
vacation, that’s a complaints list as long as my arm and it’s a hit to
livelihoods potentially for the next summer. So they’re really worried
about how long the work will overlap at the settlement itself.”
third point, Dailloux said, was that the construction schedule might
coincide with “leaf-chasing season,” which is already busy with cars and
extra traffic, which meant that it might be better to rush through as
quickly as possible.
are all very good points,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt, agreeing that more
details would give residents the information they needed.