Enough is enough on Lake Road

Res­i­dents have enough of poor road con­di­tions

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW WAGSTAFF CIT­I­ZEN-RECORD WENT­WORTH an­drew.wagstaff@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADNan­drew

Bad road, bad gov­ern­ment. Two signs carry that same mes­sage, post­ing at each end of the paved sec­tion of the Lake Road in Went­worth, and they pretty much sum up the feel­ings of sea­sonal res­i­dent Robert Smith.

“Holes and cracks ... every year it gets worse,” said Smith. “The frost heaves it, and it gets worse.”

To Smith’s rec­ol­lec­tion, the road was paved in 1989, and since then has seen a whole lot of ne­glect.

The rel­a­tively short piece of road is a spi­der web of cracked as­phalt, lit­tered with pot­holes, and sev­eral sec­tions where the as­phalt seems to have just crum­bled away from the sides.

“It’s get­ting to the point where the road is dan­ger­ous, re­ally, be­cause you don’t know when you’re go­ing to run into this,” said Smith, point­ing to one edge of the road where the pave­ment has worn away. “You have to get off the driv­ing lane to go by those holes ... or, if you just hap­pen to be wan­der­ing a bit and get off into one of those, it kind of catches your wheel.”

One lo­cal res­i­dent took what must have been a con­sid­er­able day’s work to mark all of the bad spots with white paint. They re­sem­ble chalk draw­ings that could be mark­ing off crime scenes.

The least they could do is fill in the pot­holes, but the road needs so much more than that, he said.

“They come in every year and bring a load of as­phalt, and when it’s gone it’s the last we see of them,” said Smith. “Patch­ing does help, but we’re at the stage now where it needs more than patch­ing.”

Smith said he has cir­cu­lated pe­ti­tions and sent them to the gov­ern­ment, ask­ing for the road to be repaved, and that the lo­cal se­nior cit­i­zens club has also been do­ing so, to no avail.

He be­lieves pol­i­tics has played a part in this, sug­gest­ing this part of Cum­ber­land County is be­ing pun­ished for its habit of send­ing Con­ser­va­tives to the leg­is­la­ture.

What­ever the rea­son, he just wants the road fixed.

“Ev­ery­body is fed up with it; it’s frus­trat­ing,” said Smith. “All of us on the lake, be­cause we have lake frontage, are all pay­ing high taxes. My tax bill on the lake is $2,000 a year, and they don’t look after our road. I’m three kilo­me­tres in there and we have to look after that road, be­cause they don’t have any­thing to do with pri­vate roads.”

As much as it may seem like it, the road has not been for­got­ten by the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal, as­sured me­dia re­la­tions ad­viser Brian Tay­lor.

“Staff are aware of the is­sue and will be mak­ing re­pairs to the sec­tions of the road that need it the most this sea­son,” he said. “It is also be­ing con­sid­ered for fu­ture cap­i­tal work along with the other needs in the county.”

The res­i­dents just want the road paved. If that is not to be, Smith of­fered an­other so­lu­tion.

“As it is now, if they’re not go­ing to pave it, they had bet­ter take the pave­ment up and put it back to gravel,” he said.

Robert Smith

AN­DREW WAGSTAFF/CIT­I­ZEN-RECORD

Robert Smith kneels be­fore a bad sec­tion of pave­ment on the Lake Road in Went­worth.

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