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Lumber mill moves to correct dangerous situation on Third Line

If EACOM Timber gets what it wants at Monday's City Council meeting, those endless lines of trucks parked on Third Line and Peoples Road may soon be a thing of the past

EACOM Timber Corp. is taking steps to make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians around its Sault Ste. Marie engineered wood mill.

The wood products giant is asking the city for permission to create a 37- by 200-metre gravel parking lot for its employees.

They're asking to use the new parking lot at the northeast corner of the mill, on a temporary basis for no more than three years.

About 60 vehicles – none of them transports – are expected to use the lot.

EACOM's existing employee parking lot is at the northeast corner of Third Line West and Peoples Road and workers must walk an estimated 1,000 times a week through the lumber store yard, which is also used between 250 and 300 times a week by truck drivers.

The new lot would allow employees to access the mill using a much-safer pedestrian link.

The company is promising to use dust-control measures at the new gravel lot.

If City Council agrees, the existing staff parking lot would be used to accommodate trucks currently staging along Third LIne West and Peoples Road awaiting shipping and receiving, alleviating another traffic hazard, says Peter Tonazzo, senior city planner.

Mike and Sonia Boyd on East Braemar Bay are opposed to the EACOM proposal.

"A lot of families with children including ourselves live here within close proximity of the proposed parking lot and new entrances," the Boyds say.

"Those we've spoken with are of the same mind. We don't see any benefíts but we do see a lot of negatives."

Those negatives, they say, include:

  • disruption to the natural environment
  • noise pollution in a beautiful residential neighborhood
  • physical pollution
  • potentially unsafe
  • maintenance and upkeep
  • vandalism issues (vehicles in an open field to be broken into, then to proceed to homes)

Monday's meeting of City Council will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.