Faulty driver to pay for Ma­gog over­pass re­pair

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - Record Staff By Gor­don Lam­bie

The driver who ac­ci­den­tally dam­aged the viaduct on High­way 141 above Au­toroute 10 in Ma­gog can ex­pect to re­ceive a bill of at least $350,000 from the Min­istère des Trans­ports du Québec (MTQ), an MTQ spokesper­son says.

Spokesper­son Nomba Danielle has con­firmed that all costs re­lated re­pair­ing the dam­age will be re­cu­per­ated from the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the Aug. 25 ac­ci­dent. On that date, a truck equipped with a me­chan­i­cal shovel col­lided with the struc­ture while head­ing to­ward Sher­brooke.

Danielle added that the ul­ti­mate bill is not lim­ited to $350,000 be­cause there are other re­lated costs that have been in­curred. Since the over­pass has been closed to traf­fic, the cost of all the mea­sures taken will be claimed di­rectly from the per­son at fault." The MTQ has a max­i­mum de­lay of three years to pros­e­cute in this kind of case.

Be­fore start­ing pro­ce­dures, the De­part­ment’s pri­or­ity is to com­plete the work as quickly as pos­si­ble and the work is ex­pected to last un­til mid-de­cem­ber. In par­tic­u­lar, it will be nec­es­sary to re­pair the bridge deck and two beams, in ad­di­tion to so­lid­i­fy­ing cer­tain struc­tures that were weak­ened by the force of the im­pact.

To do this, one lane per di­rec­tion on High­way 10 has been closed to traf­fic since last Mon­day and the ac­cess ramp lo­cated near Cou­ture Rd will be in­ac­ces­si­ble as long as work­ers are on site. The other ramp, lo­cated near the St-hu­bert res­tau­rant, could be closed spo­rad­i­cally as re­quired.

Danielle says that there is no plan to to­tally close the high­way as ap­prox­i­mately 50,000 ve­hi­cles pass ei­ther over or un­der the over­pass ev­ery day. “This is an im­por­tant vol­ume and the de­part­ment has taken that into ac­count," she con­cludes.

The Dixville Home Foun­da­tion launched its an­nual fundrais­ing cam­paign on Wed­nes­day morn­ing at the Liver­pool in Down­town Sher­brooke. Since be­ing es­tab­lished in 1974 the foun­da­tion has been fo­cused on its mis­sion of pro­vid­ing “a bet­ter qual­ity of life for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties or autism spec­trum dis­or­der.”

“This is why we are here,” said Pres­i­dent Don Warn­holtz, not­ing that the foun­da­tion is par­tic­u­lar in that it helps pro­vide fund­ing for “life projects” in ad­di­tion to main­tain­ing build­ings and equip­ment for its more than 1,400 users. “Nor­mally foun­da­tions are just there to buy equip­ment for hos­pi­tals and all that, but we felt there was a need for di­rect ac­tiv­i­ties,” the pres­i­dent said, ex­plain­ing that life is more ex­pen­sive and more stress­ful for the par­ents and care­tak­ers of in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial needs.

It is in recog­ni­tion of the more stress­ful re­al­ity of par­ents that the foun­da­tion named Nicholas Pépin and his wife Danielle Boisvert as the hon­ourary cochairs of this year’s cam­paign.

“Hav­ing a par­ent re­ally makes it real,” Warn­holtz said, adding, “Peo­ple don’t re­al­ize what they go through.”

Pépin said that he was stunned when the foun­da­tion asked him to take on the role only two months into us­ing its ser­vices.

“When peo­ple se­lect a cam­paign chair­per­son, it is usu­ally some­one im­por­tant and rec­og­niz­able in the com­mu­nity,” he said, “I am not a prom­i­nent busi­ness­man, politi­cian, or univer­sity re­searcher. I am a dad.”

Pépin is a fa­ther of three and Guil­laume, his ten-year-old son, has autism.

“It's not like Rain Man,” the cam­paign chair said, de­scrib­ing a daily rou­tine that is very dif­fer­ent much more dif­fi­cult than what peo­ple might con­sider “nor­mal” life. Chal­lenged by the need for ad­di­tional re­sources, Pépin said that he lived for a long time with­out ever be­ing aware of the ser­vices avail­able in the area and, ul­ti­mately, was very pleased to help spread the work about what the foun­da­tion does for lo­cal fam­i­lies in need.

“There is hope,” the cam­paign chair said. “There are peo­ple who are here for us.”

Warn­holtz shared that al­though rais­ing funds is of great im­por­tance to the work of the foun­da­tion, the out­reach of the cam­paign also has great sig­nif­i­cance.

“We’re very well known in the English com­mu­nity, but when we took on the CNDE foun­da­tion, they weren’t as well de­vel­oped,” the pres­i­dent said, re­fer­ring to the fact that the Dixville Home Foun­da­tion took over the man­age­ment of the French lan­guage Cen­tre Notre-dame-del’en­fant. “Now we’re try­ing to show peo­ple in the fran­co­phone com­mu­nity and in the autism com­mu­nity that we are here.”

In that vein, the pres­i­dent high­lighted the launch of the foun­da­tion’s new web­site: https://fon­da­tiondixville.org/. Now up and Run­ning in both English and French, the site will serve as a space to pro­mote and share in­for­ma­tion about the work of the foun­da­tion and, hope­fully, help more ef­fec­tively con­nect with the peo­ple who need their ser­vices across the Eastern Town­ships.

All of it de­pends on the sup­port that we get from the com­mu­nity, though,” Warn­holtz said.

The an­nual Dixville Home Foun­da­tion wine and cheese and its as­so­ci­ated silent and live fundrais­ing auc­tions will be tak­ing place on Fri­day, Novem­ber 10th, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Ross din­ing hall at Bishop's Col­lege School in Len­noxville. A min­i­mum do­na­tion of $175 gets one a ticket for two peo­ple. Those in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing can con­tact the foun­da­tion by call­ing 819-933-6033.

GOR­DON LAM­BIE

Dixville Home Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Don Warn­holtz and Vice Pres­i­dent David Price (left and right) stand with Nicholas Pepin and Danielle Boisvert, the par­ents who were cho­sen this year as hon­ourary co-pres­i­dents of the foun­da­tion's an­nual fundrais­ing cam­paign.

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