SPRINGDALE, NL — Potholes!
Now that you’re angry, it’s doubtful anybody will take solace in the fact Springdale council is also frustrated by the state of the town’s roads.
Mayor Dave Edison says council is doing everything it can to stay on top of the town’s poor road conditions, but its efforts are futile.
“Cold patch and things are definitely not working,” he said. “You need it cut and filled in places, we realize that.”
Repeated maintenance also becomes costly and ties up the town’s public works crew.
Excessive rain and periods of mild weather, combined with typical freezing winter temperatures, are believed to be contributing factors to road deterioration throughout the town.
“I visit other towns in Newfoundland and it seems it is the same thing, and even on our highways,” Edison said. “It has more to do with our winter.”
The mayor does think the problem has been getting worse in recent years, and questions the quality of the asphalt.
“Is there some way, in the bigger picture, government can look to improve the quality of pavement being put down?” he said. “It doesn’t matter which paving company you are dealing with – it just seems the quality of the pavement is going down … jobs done for us over the past few years are already problem areas.”
While there are many areas of concern in Springdale, Main Street is the biggest priority. The street is included in the town’s priority list for capital works funding, but that work must also include water and sewer infrastructure, according to the mayor.
Side roads throughout the town also need work, he said.
Patch work and ongoing road maintenance are costly for a small town, and major infrastructure work is not something a municipality can afford on its own. Edison said the provincial government must provide significant capital works funding in the immediate and long-term future.
“We can’t pave the main road in the town 100 per cent on our taxpayers,” he said. “We need the provincial government’s help with this. If we did it ourselves, it would mean a difference of 90 per cent of the cost, which is substantial, obviously.”
When paving companies start construction this spring, the mayor said roads will undergo a number of cuts and paving to improve conditions.
Until then, the town is apologizing for being able to do little to alleviate poor driving conditions. A post was recently added to the town’s Facebook page.
“Please be patient and look for the warning signs around the community advising motorists of upcoming hazards,” the post stated. “When the weather co-operates, we will be vigilant in trying to improve the condition of all roads in the community.”
The post did generate a pair of comments criticizing the town’s attempts to fix potholes and its placement of warning signs, but another poster thanked the town for trying to do what it could despite the challenges.