Enough is enough on Lake Road
Residents have enough of poor road conditions
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 kneels before a bad section of pavement on the Lake Road in Wentworth.