|THE BENEFITS OF OUR PROPOSAL|
|1/ The most important benefit of our proposal is safety. Because of the complete separation of semi-trucks and local traffic, this proposal can guarantee that no car-truck accidents will occur on local roads in South Delta involving semi-trucks coming to or from the Port. They will be on totally separate roads. Our proposal is the only one that can talk about the real ability to reduce accidents involving the semi-trucks, the South Fraser Perimeter Road only gives more locations for the accidents to occur.
2/ Using the same rational our proposal will also eliminate all car accidents with the trains going to the Port, because again the overpasses will eliminate all interaction with the trains. The South Fraser Perimeter Road has no influence on the effect the trains have on local traffic. Ours not only has a positive effect, it completely eliminates the possibility of car-train accidents in South Delta.
3/ It may only be important to those who live close to the rail lines, within a kilometer either side, but because our proposal eliminates all level crossings in South Delta there will be no more need for train whistles. It may seem petty, but train whistles 24 hrs a day, 4 blasts at each crossing, more than one train every hour amounts to a tremendous amount of noise pollution. Our proposal would bring that number to ZERO, and restore a certain level of peace near the tracks.
4/ Since our proposal does not permit the trucks from the Port to use HWY#99 north it is therefore the only proposal that will guarantee a reduction in the traffic headed to the tunnel, now and in the future. This has several benefits beyond a simple reduction in numbers. It also removes a faction of the tunnel traffic that contributes to the interruption of traffic flow. Semi trucks by their mechanical nature, and the loads they carry, do not move the same as cars. They take longer to stop, and they take longer to get up to speed. The very nature of the merging traffic going into the tunnel does not readily accept trucks, and when traffic is stop and go, the natural flow of traffic is interrupted. The gradient inside the tunnel is another obstruction for their movement. We believe strongly that removing that volume of trucks will have positive effects well beyond their numbers. If the people of South Delta are going to be forced to use the tunnel as it is for 40 more years, this kind of traffic change is not only common sense, the people deserve it!
5/ With all that heavy truck traffic restricted to the dedicated truck route, the volume of heavy trucks using HWY#10, HWY#17 and many local roads will be dramatically reduced to local truck traffic only. The end result of that is decreased maintenance and upkeep costs for local highways. Itís difficult to put a number to that claim, but we are sure, money will be saved by Delta taxpayers. Reduced policing is another positive effect of removing these trucks from local roads.
6/ Our proposal follows a route that will require no homes or residences to be moved or expropriated. The South Fraser Perimeter Road will require the expropriation of up to 100 homes in North Delta and will negatively affect the value and livablilty of many others that remain.
7/ Our proposal does not touch Burns Bog in any way and has no impact on anything that effects the health of the bog. If the reader takes the time to investigate what is required to keep Burns Bog healthy, they will find that water flow below grade and no further seperation from the Fraser River are crucial to the Bog remaining healthy. It is our opinion that the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road on the north edge of the Bog could do irreparable damage to the ecosystem that keeps the Bog alive. That is for the biologists to confirm, but the information available to us does not suggest it is a wise place ecologically to construct a major highway. On March 24, 2004 after years of legal work, and millions of taxpayers dollars, Burns Bog was purchased by the government. We donít believe all that effort, and public support of the purchase was intended so that a major highway could be built.
8/ Our proposal uses the least new land. Because we propose to put 2 rail tracks and a two lane highway in the existing 100 foot wide railroad right of way there is very little need for new land except for the inspection station. We estimate that less then 30 acres of cultivated land would be required. On the other hand the South Fraser Perimeter Road will require up to 100 residential properties and hundreds of acres of industrial and agricultural land to be constructed.
9/ Our proposal will bisect no further farm properties anywhere in Delta.
10/ Our proposal can be built faster than the South Fraser Perimeter Road. The reason is because most of the land required is already owned by some level of Government and the exisiting rail line was not included in the agreement with C.N. Rail when B.C. Rail was sold off. Secondly the soil along the entire route is much more stable than all the other proposed routes, and was investigated years ago when the railway was built. That means less geotechnical and environmental work needs to be done prior to design engineering. If the decision was made immediately we believe work could start within a year and be ready for the completion of the first stage of the Port expansion in 2008. None of the other proposals will be near completion when the first stage of the Port expansion is operational, and itís possible the entire SFPR construction wouldnít be complete until after the Port in 2008.
11/ The construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road will not only take longer but will also cause traffic chaos for the travelling public. Our proposal will have very little impact on daily traffic while it is being constructed.
12/ Ours is the only proposal that takes the trucks off local roads. The idea of building the SFPR might look good on paper, but the trucks donít have to use it. They will continue to use, as they do now, any road that they choose to get from A to B, even if the road is signed to prevent them using it. With no access on or off Delta Port Way, except at the base of HWY#91, they will be forced to stay off local roads whether they choose to or not.
13/ The Vancouver Port Authority, in the aftermath of 911, has instituted a policy of ďrestricted accessĒ at their facilities in other parts of the lower mainland. As those security policies are applied to Delta Port in the future, as they probably will be, the dedicated truck route makes implementation of that security much easier, as there will be no route for those not authorized by the Port to gain access.
14/ Our proposal, by the fact of itís location, is the only proposal that will keep the air pollution generated by the trucks and diesel trains as far from the general population as possible. It may also reduce pollution volume by eliminating the trucks having to operate in stop and go traffic, but that is for scientists to comment on.
15/ There is a tremendous benefit to truckers traveling between the Fraser-Surrey Docks and Delta Port if our entire plan is implemented. With the dedicated highway in place to HWY#91, and a tunnel under North Delta, it is possible that the truckers would not have to stop or even change gears much, for the entire trip. There could be no stoplights and a nearly level grade for the entire drive between the two facilities.
16/ The potential of polluting local farm irrigation water can be dramatically reduced by our proposal, because the trucks and trains are in one corridor, with adjacent drainage ditches separated from the irrigation ditches.
17/ If and when truck accidents, or train derailments occur, the effects on Delta will be minimized because of our proposal. Local traffic will not be effected and pollutants can be contained inside the corridor.
18/ Our proposal brings a benefit to the operation of the rail lines feeding the Port. Since all roads in South Delta will have overpasses that bridge the rails, it will be possible for the Port to stack rail cars along the entire rail length without causing any interference to local traffic.
19/ We believe our proposal is cost effective when compared to the South Fraser Perimeter Road. The South Delta Section could be built for $100 million plus the cost of the tunnel in North Delta. The jury is still out on the cost of the tunnel but whatever its cost it is better than the damage the South Fraser Perimeter Road will cause to North Delta and the Bog.
20/ Our proposal is the only one that provides for 100% screening of all trucks bound for the Port and Ferries for weight and mechanical conditions. The South Fraser Perimeter Road includes no facility to insure these thousands of trucks are safe to be on the roads.
21/ Since the Gateway Program and BC Hydro are both considering major infrastructure upgrades in South Delta at the same time, there is a once in a lifetime opportunity to condense all of these commercial services, road, rail and hydro transmission lines, into one Commercial Corridor. This one time opportunity would provide a long term route for all of these services, and take them out of conflict with local residents. Not only would that improve the safety and quality of life for the residents of Delta, but it creates a corridor where future upgrades, more tracks, wider roads or more hydro lines, could be added easily and without public discontent. The opportunity to create this Commercial Corridor will only happen once, and therefore we believe the various authorities should look here at the long term, larger picture, Ours is the only proposal that will leave Delta in better condition than it is today!
22/ In North Delta, the area called Annieville, exists directly in the path of the proposed SFPR. To date there has only been discussion about either going through it, and destroying the residential nature of the area, or going around it, actually in the river or on the foreshore. The cost of this construction and the damage to neighbourhoods and the environment could be staggering, depending on the design. Our proposed tunnel not only would be cheaper, it would not damage the neighbourhoods or environment at all, plus much of this existing truck traffic in the area could be routed out of Annieville entirely.