Turbine Factories and County Road Access
OVER 4,00 MASSIVE OVERSIZE TRUCK LOADS…AND COUNTING
That’s what will hit the County – particularly Cherry Valley, Milford and much of Athol and South Marysburgh – if both Gilead Power and wpd Canada are allowed to proceed with their wind turbine factories. And they all have to come from Highway 401.
Gilead Power’s own consultants believe that some County roads will have to be strengthened and corners widened. They looked at three entry points and settled on Highway 33 and Highway 49 although nothing has yet been carved in stone.
Highway 33 would be followed over the Murray Canal bridge (59 tonnes maximum) to Consecon, then along County Road 1 for its entire length – including the roundabout- to the junction with County Road 10.
The Highway 49 option would skirt Picton to the west to reach the same junction of County Roads 1 and 10.
From that point County Road 10 would be followed through Cherry Valley and Milford to County Road 13, thence via Babylon and Helmer Roads to the Ostrander Point site. The Highway 33 route is 71 kilometres long, the Highway 49 option 56 kilometres. It is assumed that wpd Canada would use the same route(s), at least as far as Milford; from there its proposed turbine locations are scattered.
The following statistics cover both projects. Each turbine will require 40 truckloads of concrete for its base (1,520 ready mix concrete trucks).Each turbine needs 10 truck loads of turbine blades, tower parts and other components (390 special, oversized vehicles). Such vehicles need escort cars or trucks (760 in all). Separate trucks/trailers will be required for the delivery of other material (1,710 of them). So far that’s 4,380 individual vehicles, most of them large and heavy and many oversized and articulated. The turbines will be erected by giant cranes. Special vehicles (number unknown) will be needed to transport them in parts.
wpd Canada’s transmission line will span 28 kilometres from Royal Road to the Hydro One connection north of Picton. Add all required vehicles and equipment required for that work, number unknown.
County roads and normal traffic will take a beating. No information appears to be currently available as to the state of negotiations (if any) between Gilead Power, wpd Canada and Shire Hall as to final routing, road widenings and strengthenings, indemnity for damage to all roads , cost and responsibility and security for payment. Is the Murray Canal bridge adequate? Will the roundabout be taken out temporarily? How much OPP escorting will be required and who pays?
Is anybody concerned about the dust, noise, vibration and incredible inconvenience to be suffered by County residents and businesses along the routes, particularly those in Cherry Valley and Milford and along the transmission line?
And all of this spectacularly objectionable activity to enable the south end of the County to be desecrated, an Important Bird Area ravaged, the County bisected by the transmission line, and two corporations enriched at the expense of all Ontarians so that the power they may produce about 27% of the time can be exported abroad for considerably less than its inflated cost, the difference being absorbed by those same Ontarians in their taxes and hydro bills.
Insult added to injury, indeed, following the flight of democracy and common sense so fundamentally reflected in the Green Energy Act.
There is but one ray of light. The Court of Appeal has still to rule on the Gilead Power project while wpd Canada has not yet received its required approval.
CCSAGE NATURALLY GREEN.