Clarington Council has directed staff to look into options that would fund safety improvements needed at the Cobbledick Road and Bennett Road rail crossings to eliminate the train whistles.
Wilmot Creek residents have petitioned council for several years to eliminate the noise pollution associated with the train whistles. The cost of making the rail safety improvements needed to both crossings is outlined in report EDG-013-20 and totals more than $1.3 million for both crossings. This would include improvements to the warning system, which are mandated before Transport Canada would consider train whistle cessation for those crossings. It also includes various other safety measures such as road improvements and fencing, said a council statement.
- Clarington staff will apply for funding through Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program to help cover the cost of the needed changes, it said.
- Staff are also looking at options to cover the cost through development charges by adding an area-specific charge to new development planned that may be impacted by train whistles sounding at both the crossings.
- And, if all else fails, staff are investigating the possibility of adding a Community Benefits Charge By-law under the Planning Act to pay for the rail crossing improvements.
Municipal staff will report back to the council on September 14 with options to pay for these improvements.
Clarington Staff have also been asked to investigate the daily rail traffic in that area and the impact of new development and potential new vehicle traffic that may use the crossings.