Trucks bound for Windsor’s new EV battery plant are disturbing an East Riverside street, say residents

A group of neighbors in Windsor’s East Riverside community say their once quiet street has recently become home to the loud, disruptive rumblings of gravel trucks.

Anne Deviller lives on Greenpark Boulevard. The small, typically sleepy street, she said, stretches approximately 200 metres.

Over the last few days, she said the small street has become part of a route that has had hundreds of trucks travel through, carrying gravel to the nearby electric vehicle battery plant, where millions of tonnes of crushed stone is needed to prepare the site for surgery.

At first, Devillers said the truck traffic was manageable. Now, it’s ramped up and has been non-stop.

Nobody has said they don’t want them to pass at all. We’re trying to be reasonable on this area.— Anne Devillers, resident of Greenpark Boulevard

“Every 30 seconds is a truck loaded […] passing below the window. How do you think it can disturb you at the end of the day? All of the people here are completely mad,” Devillers said.

“Yesterday, the neighbor was thinking of selling his house,” she added.

Devillers is collecting signatures on a petition calling for the trucks to divide their route between five different streets.

She said the neighborhood isn’t in opposition to the plant and the roughly 3,000 jobs it will bring with it.

“Nobody has said they don’t want them to pass at all. We’re trying to be reasonable on this area,” she said.

Speaking with a truck driver passing through the neighborhood recently, Devillers said he told her about 400 trucks traveling the route every day.

‘We know it can be frustrating’

“I am sorry, we are citizens as well, we pay taxes,” she said. “By the end of the day you are completely crushed.”

The trucks are working for Amico Infrastructures, which is doing the prep work on the battery plant site.

They began hauling the aggregate from three terminals at the end of August but were taking a route down Riverdale Avenue to Wyandotte Street and then down Lauzon, but this week the city told Amico to change the route to the current one.

The district manager for Amico, Dwayne Dawson, told CBC News they don’t like the route anymore than the residents do.

“I’m trying to talk to the city to come to some type of mutual resolution that’s agreeable to everybody, because I can appreciate that fact that the residents don’t want all the trucks on their streets,” he said.

Dawson says they’d like to at least have the trucks return along a different route.

In an email to CBC Windsor, the city said “The good news is the number of trucks is already declining and will continue to be reduced with the bulk of all deliveries wrapped up in the next four to five weeks.”

“We know it can be frustrating for those directly impacted and we appreciate their patience. It’s a $5 billion investment in our community so hopefully the short-term pain will soon be forgotten and replaced with years of great jobs and spin-off benefits from the new plant for our entire community,” the city said.

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