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Is St Marys Cement inspecting bridges near the proposed quarry site?

Is this part of their "Transportation Study"?


Recently some local residents have asked FORCE Volunteers whether St Marys Cement is inspecting bridges near the quarry site. Speculation is that it is part of St Marys transportation study. This is not the case. In fact, the City of Hamilton has undertaken a preliminary review of all of its bridges. The purpose of the study is part of an ongoing program to assess the condition of the City's bridge structures.

The City of Hamilton maintains the second largest number of Municipal bridges in southern Ontario, spending $6 million on bridge projects each year. To keep costs down and ensure safety, the City of Hamilton has found that it is vital to have both proper and frequent inspections and a good preventive maintenance program.

In a parallel assessment, the City has also identified bridges within its jurisdiction that are 35 years of age or older and classified them in relation to their heritage significance (Heritage Structure Assessment, 2002) in compliance with City policy requiring that a Heritage Impact Assessment be completed where heritage resources will be affected by development or redevelopment proposals. The purpose of this assessment is also related to the Municipal Class EA requirement to address the heritage value of structures that are over 40 years old when they are being altered. The City has elected to proceed with its Master Plan EA of "heritage" bridges in manageable packages, generally on a watershed basis.

On June 7th, the City held a Public Information Centre (PIC) at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School, to present the Halton Region Conservations Authority (HRCA) Bridges Master Plan Class Environmental Assessment (700 KB). After an initial assessment, the City has identified the need to reconstruct, rehabilitate, and/or alter a number of bridges due to deteriorating conditions that have affected the structures' integrity. This Assessment identifies four bridges in the Halton Region Conservation Authorities Watershed area (636 KB) that are in need of further detailed assessment.

The (HRCA) Bridges Master Plan Class Environmental Assessment outlines deficiencies, alternative solutions and preferred recommended solutions regarding the four bridges in question:

Next steps in the process are:

Highway 401 Interchange Improvements at Guelph Line


Improvements to the interchange at Guelph Line (download Notice of Public Information Centre (PIC)) have been in the works for years and have nothing to do with the proposed St. Marys Flamborough Quarry. The proposed changes address historical vehicle and pedestrian safety issues on the bridge, north/south traffic on the Guelph Line, and operation of the Guelph Line/401 interchange. Ongoing complaints have been made over the years about the unsafe bridge, heavy use by transport trailers, and the speed of traffic over the bridge, especially southbound traffic coming out of Mohawk Raceway. The changes were based on historical and current factors. They do not consider nor do they help future development proposals active in the area such as the Mohawk Entertainment Complex proposed hotel (and related facilities) or the proposed St. Marys Flamborough quarry.

Changes have been in the planning stage for years. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is now at the stage where it has retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. to undertake a Detail Design Study. Stantec reviewed several alternatives and has recommended a preferred plan. MTO and its consultants are following the study and public process for a Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities as a Group "B" project. A Class Environmental Assessment means that a provincial ministry or ministries or a municipality follows an established set of steps, analyses, and processes for a similar group or class of projects in order to assess and address environmental impacts  examples of similar groups of projects include highway and road construction, sewage and water pipelines.

The proposed improvements in the preferred plan include:

The improvements are expected to be constructed in 2009 and will be in place for decades. Construction will begin sooner if provincial dollars are budgeted earlier.

Read the December 14 Halton Compass article "Guelph Line Overpass going to two lanes".

The December 7, 2006 PIC was held so that the MTO staff and consultants could learn about any concerns that interested or affected persons might have about the proposed work in order to address the concerns during the Detail Design stage.

The next process steps for the improvements will include MTO and its consultants completing an environmental screening process to finalize the project's status as Group "B" or "C". If the project remains a Group B project, a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be prepared and filed for public comment. If the project is downgraded to a Group "C", this decision will be filed for public comment.

Interested and affected people who have unresolved concerns will still have a right to make a formal written request to the Minister of the Environment to "bump-up" the project. If granted, a "bump-up" order may lead to a full individual environmental assessment on the project rather than simply moving through the steps of the class of projects process.

The two David Lowndes


FORCE has received a number of tips that David Lowndes is a Manager at Dufferin's Acton Quarry. As much of a strange coincidence as this may be, it would appears that there are two David Lowndes in the local quarry business. The David Lowndes that works at the Dufferin Acton Quarry is NOT the same David Lowndes of Lowndes Holdings Corp.

Below are recent pictures taken of both David Lowndes':

David Lowndes, Quarry Manager, Dufferin Aggregates
March 2006
David Lowndes, Lowndes Holdings Corp.
April 6, 2006, City Update Meeting

Don't Believe the Bad Guys!


"It's a done deal!" That's what FORCE volunteers sometimes hear as they talk with neighbours about the proposed Carlisle Quarry but nothing could be further from the truth!

Conspiracy theories speak to our worst fears. They are easier to believe than learning the facts. Yet the evidence against this proposed quarry exists - in over 500 pages of documentation that state exactly why the 11th Concession in Flamborough is the wrong place for the eighth largest quarry in Canada.

The Lowndes Holdings Corp. (now St Marys Cement Group CBM) application is not a done deal. It is being scrutinized by a peer review team- an objective third party. This team is also reviewing the documents that FORCE commissioned from leading experts. Every one of them refutes much of what the Lowndes Holdings Corp. application has put forward with respect to water safety, water quantity, environmental damage, noise, dust and traffic.

The quarry is not a done deal. There are three major levels of approval that must be sought: OPA, Zoning and ARA licensing. Additional supporting approvals are then required from the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Transportation and so on. Early in the application process Lowndes Holdings Corp. indicated that within eight months the initial approvals would be in place. More than one year later Lowndes Holdings Corp. has not yet cleared the first hurdle.

Paving the 11th Concession


The City of Hamilton Proposed 2005-2014 Capital Projects chart (download document - 79 KB) shows rural road rehabilitation work for local roads in Ward 15, including some $600,000 in 2005 for the 11th Concession East between Milburough Townline and Hwy #6. The rehabilitation and resurfacing of these roads is necessary and is not related to the Lowndes Holdings Corp. Application for a proposed aggregate development.

Richard Andoga, Acting Senior Project Manager, Infrastructure Programming, Capital Planning & Implementation Division in the City of Hamilton Public Works Department clarified the purpose of the local road rehabilitation work in May 2, 2005 e-mail correspondence with Councillor Margaret McCarthy. He wrote that "The road rehabilitation was first included in the 2005 capital budget submission. We annually review pavement management data along with input from Road Maintenance to determine the rural rehabilitation priorities. Concession 11 was identified as a concern, and therefore forwarded to the Capital budget. The proposed quarry application was mentioned and a concern, however due to the application being questionable, our feeling was that due to the condition of the roadway we could not continue to just spend maintenance dollars on this road."

The fix is in. Palms have been greased.


FORCE volunteers also hear that "the fix is in", that "palms have been greased". We do not believe these statements. If we did we'd give up, and that's the only way that Lowndes Holdings Corp. would have a "done deal". There are too many agencies and people involved to "have the fix in". Furthermore, FORCE volunteers have developed credible relationships with the City of Hamilton Staff and Councilors, Halton Regional Staff and Councilors, Town of Milton Staff and Councilors, City of Burlington Staff and Councilors, Members of Provincial Parliament and staff in associated Ministries Everyone we have met understands the enormity of the environmental problem and the risk to the Carlisle wellheads and adjacent private wells.

The individuals spreading the rumour that the quarry is a done deal are perhaps the ones who will profit from it. They'll say for instance we need the aggregate to support the mid-Niagara Highway development. But the fact is there is no shortage of aggregate in Ontario. We have 2800 quarries and no jurisdiction to keep tabs on what is produced and what remains in the ground. Furthermore, Ontario ships aggregate to the USA. We wouldn't do that if we had a shortage.

Don't let the rumours get you down. We can beat this application by sticking together and being informed. Go to www.stopthequarry.ca to learn more. We are certain that when you take the time to understand the facts that you will be able to challenge the next rumor you hear.


Together We Will Succeed!