I know few people care about this stuff. The mayor did try. I give him full marks for that effort. Anyway, I will bring this to our City’s Administration’s attention one last time.
Its no big deal right? What is a little concrete dust between friends? Its not cement dust so what is the big deal about inhaling a little? Well it contains silica as does most of the dust that has been flying around the waterfront construction site all summer. Inhaling silca is bad. I would have thought the workers on the construction site would care about stuff like silicosis but what do I know? What I do know is that there has been lots and lots of dust around the City of Thunder Bay this summer. That is what dry weather mixed with construction tends to produce.
Our City Administration has decided that suppressing that dust is too expensive, or too much work or too much of something. The effort made has been minimal. meanwhile dust from various construction sites has been carried by the wind in all directions. The dust travels a distance and then falls to the ground. End of problem, right? No. I have walked down Water Street with dust being blown off the pavement by the traffic. The skatepark has dust laying around that is also picked up by the wind.
The intersection of Red River Road and Cumberland Street was a major source of dust in the downtown core. The City workers were well aware of it but did nothing. They did nothing. The people who lived adjacent to the road construction on Winnipeg Avenue this summer had dust blowing into their yards and their homes for most of the summer. Once again, City workers were aware of this situation and did nothing. They did nothing. Why not?
The public matters. The City of Thunder Bay Administration has to get it through those thick skulls of theirs that it is a good thing to protect the taxpaying residents from dust. Its a good thing to keep it from blowing into peoples yards, into public parks, into children’s playgrounds. To keep it from getting into the eyes, noses and lungs of people who are just trying to go about their daily routines or trying to run a business.
Once dust leaves the construction site, it keeps moving around and is a major contributor to making the city look dirty. The City of Thunder Bay does not need to look dirty. Tourists do not like walking down dusty streets. It was funny to watch people coming out of the Prince Arthur Hotel and try and navigate through the construction site. All sidewalks were closed, pavement ripped up and dust blowing around whenever a vehicle drove passed.
So who cares? Not the Engineering Department of the City of Thunder Bay. Not them. They do not care about anything related to a construction site and how it impacts the public. Not one damn bit. Now, they want more money so they can create more dust in more areas of the city.
This passed summer was hell as far as dust was concerned. Not one contractor was required to suppress dust. I am sure its in the tender documents. I am sure the taxpayers are paying for dust suppression. If the contractors are not required to supply a contract item that is specified in the contract, then the contractor simply pockets that money. Thank you very much.
All this makes me sick. There is no recourse. City Administration does not care. The Ministry of Labour does nothing. They flail away like the referee in professional wrestling and, in the end, are just as ineffective. I believe there is politics involved here. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
I tried. I really did. Nobody seems to care so I guess I shouldn’t either. Will businesses want to move to a city that lets dust blow all over the place? Good question.
The following photos were taken today just after a long saw cut was made into the concrete sidewalk next to the skatepark. While work was being done, there was a huge cloud of dust emanating from the ground. It could have been prevented by simply wetting the area. Not worth doing I guess. People? we don’t care about no stinkin people. Also, there is lots of dust remaining after the work was done. The dust could have been cleaned up. A shopvac and 10 minutes of time.