Traf­fic dis­rup­tions con­tinue in Bay Roberts

Town com­mends mo­torists for pa­tience, un­der­stand­ing

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

Mo­torists can ex­pect many more weeks of de­lays and bumpy roads in Bay Roberts as work con­tin­ues on a ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture project along the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way, the main four-lane artery through the town.

For the sec­ond year in a row, heavy equip­ment has been rip­ping up sec­tions of the busy street and in­stalling new and up­graded sewer in­fra­struc­ture.

It’s re­sulted in a rough, dusty and some­times te­dious com­mute along the road, which sees thou­sands of ve­hi­cles each day and is the town’s com­mer­cial epi­cen­tre.

Upgrades nec­es­sary

By the end of this year, town of­fi­cials es­ti­mate that roughly $10 mil­lion will have been spent on the project, which was deemed nec­es­sary fol­low­ing a study that con­cluded sewer in­fra­struc­ture in the area was in­suf­fi­cient be­cause of the con­tin­u­ing growth in the town.

The town is re­spon­si­ble for roughly 20 per cent of the cost, while the provin­cial gov­ern­ment, which main­tains the road, is pick­ing up most of the tab. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has also made con­tri­bu­tions to the multi-phased project.

The town’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, Nigel Black, ex­plained that two phases are now un­der­way at the same time, mak­ing travel in the area es­pe­cially chal­leng­ing.

The first phase be­gan ear­lier this year and in­cludes an area from Pow­ell’s Su­per­mar­ket to Saw­dust Road. This phase is near­ing com­ple­tion, he said, and the con­trac­tor has be­gun patch­ing some sec­tions of the road.

Phase two be­gins at Saw­dust Road and con­tin­ues to the in­ter­sec­tion of the Con­cep­tion Bay Ac­cess Road.

Work on this phase be­gan just re­cently, and is ex­pected to be more com­plex and ex­pen­sive be­cause it also in­cludes two lift sta­tions, which pump sewer along the line. A lift sta­tion was also in­stalled near Pow­ell’s last year. “It will take a lit­tle longer,” said Black. Black said the con­trac­tors are also in­stalling some new wa­ter ser­vice lines “so we don’t have to go in and fix wa­ter breaks af­ter­wards.”

He ex­pects the lat­est phase to be com­pleted be­fore the end of the con­struc­tion sea­son.

The road will be resur­faced with as­phalt in 2012, he added.

“ We’ll have a mod­ern, ef­fi­cient sys­tem that is ca­pa­ble of han­dling fu­ture growth,” Black said.

Frus­tra­tions ex­pected

Black ac­knowl­edged there have been com­plaints, with some mo­torists re­port­ing busted tires and other ve­hi­cle dam­age. But he said mo­torists and busi­ness own­ers im­pacted by the project have been gen­er­ally very pa­tient and un­der­stand­ing.

“Peo­ple have been fairly sat­is­fied that we’ve tried to ac­com­mo­date them as best we can,” said Black.”I think it’s gone rel­a­tively smoothly, con­sid­er­ing the mag­ni­tude of the job.”

“All we can say is it’s nec­es­sary and it has to be done. It’s an in­con­ve­nience to ev­ery­one, but it’s some­thing we’ll have to deal with for this con­struc­tion sea­son, and next year we’ll have a prod­uct that’s bet­ter than it has been in years.”

Con­struc­tion con­tin­ues on a ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture project along Con­cep­tion Bay High­way in Bay Roberts.

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