EMBRUN – Last month, the township of Russell council directed staff to investigate potential solutions for resident complaints concerning construction traffic on Labelle Street.

During the April 4 council meeting, executive director of infrastructure services Jonathan Bourgon brought back a report outlining the reasons it’s not possible to prohibit or to police construction traffic on Labelle Street. Bourgon’s recommendation was to make Labelle Street the access point for the construction traffic heading to the new subdivision being built at the west end of that street.

“During a construction project, it is extremely difficult to control access to the site. In this case, the administration recommends using the shortest route, Labelle Street, in order to minimize the use of residential streets and proximity to school zones,” Bourgon said in his report. “Obviously, the point of origin of the truck will have a role to play on which route the truck will take. It is therefore impossible to have control over this situation.”

While Bourgon recommended the continued use of Labelle Street, he also suggested that a mobile speed radar be installed during construction season as a reminder of the speed limit. Mayor Pierre Leroux asked if it would be possible to add bollards to the street to encourage slower traffic with the intent of creating a safer environment for residents.

“After construction, it was our plan to install those types of bollards on that street,” Bourgon said. “If council gave us direction to proceed, it could be done sooner.”

During the question period, one resident noted that with the new subdivision currently under construction and potential other subdivisions slated for construction in coming years, that there could be construction traffic on Labelle Street for “for the next 20 years.” He asked if there is anything that can be done in addition to what’s been proposed to “calm” the traffic on that street.

While council approved Bourgon’s recommendation, they also directed him to proceed with erecting bollards on Labelle Street. Construction vehicles will be able to continue to use the road but once the bollards are in place, they will be forced to slow down. The report, along with a map of the affected area, can be found in the April 4 council agenda package, which is available on the municipality’s website (Russell.ca).