By Chris Lewis | Vol. 32 No. 3 (April 4 2019)
The Town of Conception Bay South is putting a strong focus on its roadways and sidewalks this construction season.
Between sidewalk projects in school zones and various mill and fill projects on streets around town, residents can expect to see plenty of roadwork this year, according to Mayor Terry French.
One of the first priorities set by the current council when it was elected in the fall of 2017 was to make sure students are safe when walking to and from school, French said.
Due to provincial regulations, students who live within 1.6 kilometres of their schools don’t qualify for a seat on the daily school buses. French said for those having to walk, the journey was all the more dangerous in some places due to the lack of sidewalks, especially as Route 60 is the fifth busiest roadway in the province.
In addition to extending the network of sidewalks, French said wanted to implement a ‘roads program,’ similar to the annual streets rehabilitation program in St. John’s. The aim is to “mill and fill” places that have become rough or pocked with potholes. French cautioned the intent is not to repave whole streets, but instead target specific sections.
“It’s not just shovelling in enough to fill a pothole, it’s more significant work than that. Removing a layer and putting a layer over it, done with heavy equipment. Things like that,” French said.
The sidewalk and mill and fill programs will cost a combined $1 million, the mayor added.
“The infrastructure that we had was crumbling, to be very frank about it. We’ve still got a long way to go yet as well. We’ve still got some roads in CBS that are deplorable, that really need to be fixed,” French said. “Last year we got so much done with the sidewalks, and this year we’ll be continuing that. Next year, we’ll continue on again, and again. It’ll take us probably around five years total to get everything done that we’d like to have, but we’ll get there.”
Last year, sidewalks were installed on parts of Topsail Road, near Topsail Elementary, and Robert’s Road South, near Upper Gullies Eementary. This year, French said Spruce Hill Road, Pond Road, and some other parts of Topsail Road are on the radar.
The Town is again tapping into the provincial government’s multi-year capital works program to tackle larger projects.
“There’s so many needs in a town our size. It was time to take a step back and look after the infrastructure that we currently have, so this year as well we’re having $6-million in paving going into our 2018-2019 street upgrading and paving program, so you’ll see lots of pavement, hopefully, being laid out this year,” French said.
Tilley’s Road, Monument Road, Fowler’s Road and Legion Road are on slate for work, some of which is being carried over from 2018.
French explained the work under this particular program will be similar to the sidewalk and mill and fill projects. It will be tendered and awarded come construction season this year.
“Obviously, this type of work fluctuates,” said French. “Some years you have a lot of stuff you have to get out the door, and some years you have a lot less. So, you don’t have engineers on staff to get that stuff out the door. All of this engineering work you have to contract out, get it done, then award a tender, so we’re in that process now and pushing real hard to get it moving as quickly as we can.”All of this engineering work you have to contract out, get it done, then award a tender, so we’re in that process now and pushing real hard to get it moving as quickly as we can.”