Holyrood has earful for minister

By Craig Westcott | Vol. 32 No. 4 (April 10 2019)

Provincial Transportation Minister Steve Crocker may get more than he bargained for when he wrote the Town of Holyrood recently asking it to participate in a survey to indicate what parts of the community council would like to see addressed when it comes to roadwork.

While councillors were quick to express gratitude for the repairs Crocker’s department undertook last year to repair and repave washed out areas along Route 60 and Veitch’s Hill, they were not shy in expressing the need for the department to tackle some of that same work again.

The discussion arose when Crocker’s letter, which has been sent to all municipalities in the province asking them to take part in an online survey “to provide a provincial picture” of needs, was read aloud to council.

“After the last rainfall we experienced more water run-off, which compromised the integrity of the side of the road, which eventually will have an impact on the road and the new pavement that was put down there last year,” said Mayor Gary Goobie. “It will eventually founder in underneath Conception Bay Highway and cause destruction to that new pavement.”

Goobie said Veitch’s Hill is extremely steep and whenever there is heavy rainfall, exacerbated most recently because the ground was still hard because of frost, the water flows down in force carving out crevices and ruts. “Actually, it’s dangerous,” Goobie said, “because if a car had to go in on the side of that road it would have caused a lot of damage because some of them (ruts) are a foot or more deep. Not only that, but if you had pedestrians walking on the side of the road in the evening and they happened to go down into that, it could cause an injury.”

Goobie said he has suggested before that the department use a heavier material on the shoulders of that part of the road so that they don’t wash away as easily.

“That is a very strong recommendation that I would like to put forward on behalf of council,” he said.

Councillor Jim Joy, who chair’s council’s infrastructure and public works committee, said he would like to see the province undertake similar work on the Southside down through Duffs. “There is a lot of deterioration there,” he noted. “It’s a large project, but certainly would be included as well.”
Deputy Mayor Curtis Buckle, who attended the meeting “remotely” via teleconference from Florida, agreed with Joy and Goobie. Regarding Veitch’s Hill, Buckle suggested the area almost needs a paved gutter to accommodate the runoff. “Pavement is one thing, but it’s only as good as your drainage,” he observed. “If you don’t have proper drainage, the pavement will not last.”

Councillor Sadie King argued the province needs to do the job right. “Every rain storm the same thing is happening,” said King. “They’re just throwing good money after bad.”

Crocker’s survey is open until April 30. Councillor Joy’s committee will compile the suggestions of councillors and complete it on behalf of the town.

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