Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Have your say: Surprise -- my neighbourhood becomes a construction site

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After spending a week away enjoying a hard-earned break from work, imagine my surprise to be awoken early on a Saturday morning to a continuous loud banging, then realize that it was not my head making this sound; it was coming from across the street. What made it worse was I noticed things were moving around the house: a glass vibrated off the counter and onto the floor.

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Upon further investigation, I noticed there were changes to the surrounding streets; routes I take to visit a neighbour or the way I walk to work were no longer there. Instead of walking across a gentle slope I encountered a 10-foot wall of rocks in my path and with the large snowfall, no cleared path around. I saw a woman carrying a baby through snow that, with one misstep, had her waist-deep in snow as she struggles to get to a bus stop. This is now my life.

With the past two years of design consultations and broken promises, the Disraeli bridge project is underway. Living across the street from a construction site can be upsetting enough, but when this project is a massive, two-year project, I am totally surprised that with the huge budget and the intense lobbying from the private-public partnership, I have not heard one word in the past four months on what is happening and how this will affect my life and the lives of the other 900 residents in Point Douglas.

No one has told me that this pounding would start every morning for the next few weeks or months; no one has warned me that I have to change the way I commute to work as the road will be blocked with a lineup of idling dump trucks and delivery trucks in the middle of the street. No one has told me I should have my house inspected before the construction starts so that I can reference all the new cracks in my walls or floors, even though this was promised by the private-public partnership in community meetings held last year.

In fact, no one has told me anything about this project. This project that will not allow me to enjoy the yard I spent two summers creating. No one has told me when the noise will start each day or when it will end; if it is six or seven days a week; what to expect as to timelines, inconveniencies and other disruptions in my life for the next two years.

I do know one thing, and that is there is no caring or communications from the city administration in its interaction (or more accurately, lack thereof) with residents. There is no transparency in decision making and no way to reach those who have the power to affect my life without any consideration for two full years, and maybe more, as no one has told me anything!




Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 17, 2011 A11

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