Work approved to accommodate bus route
Harbour Grace gives OK to widening Hard Path Road at residents’ urging
The children living on Hard Path Road could soon have access to a new bus route.
This is after the Town of Harbour Grace passed a motion during its regular council meeting on Sept. 9 that would see grubbing done, the road widened and a bus turnaround cleared on the road.
The turnaround intended for any potential school buses in the area would be just after the underpass for the Veteran’s Memorial Highway at the top of the Hard Path, while the rest of the work should happen at the end closest to Danny Cleary Drive at the crest of the hill turning up the road. It is mostly cosmetic work that is needed.
“There are a number of kids who live in the area,” said Mayor Terry Barnes.
Some of the 10 children living on the road have to travel a kilometre to reach the bus stop at the bottom of the Hard Path.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Barnes turned to superintendent Pat Hearn and mentioned he would like to see the work done “yesterday.”
The move was met with silent approval and head nods amongst concerned residents in the gallery. It did not stop there, however.
As other residents made their way into the council chambers, they were met with the same head nods and perhaps an added fist bump.
“We did our part and we’ll do what we can (to help),” said Barnes later in the week.
The mayor said the process for approving the work could go ahead because residents in the area already went door-to-door explaining the situation and attracting signatures for a petition. This meant council didn’t have to undergo the time consuming process of canvasing the area looking for permission to do work on the land of residents.
“That allowed us to go ahead and start the process,” said the Mayor. “It made the process a lot easier.”
The process for the installation of a bus route began two years ago. Students catch the bus to either St. Francis or Carbonear Collegiate at the end of the Hard Path, leaving a logjam of cars and parents at the bottom.
The ball is now in the court of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District.
“The District has determined that a stop is not viable on Hard Path at this time as the road is narrow, but most importantly, the road does not have an appropriate turnaround available for a bus. The District has committed to providing a bus stop on the road once an appropriate turnaround has been established,” NLESD spokesman Ken Morrissey told The Compass in an email. “As always, safety is our priority and the District has also been in contact with officials of the Town of Harbour Grace about the possibility of a turnaround being in place and we will be visiting the site again in the very near future.” Lady lake road paving The work on Hard Path Road was not the only infrastructure issue to get approved during the meeting.
Coun. Kathy Tetford attempted to put some of the left over money from the Harvey Street and College Lane project to good use. She made a motion that would see $700,000 the town had earmarked for the project put towards road paving at Kitchen’s Hill and the Lady Lake Rd. Extension.
The money had previously been made available for the completion of the Harvey Street project. It appears that project will not be completed in the near future.
“I’d like to restart the project and whatever the money can do to get it complete,” said Tetford. “I know it is late in the year and it may not get started now, but I would like to get the ball rolling and also earmark that money.”
The only councillor to oppose the motion was Gordon Stone. He cautioned that earmarking the money could hinder any future decision the town could make concerning infrastructure.
“The only drawback I see about earmarking the money is that I don’t want to tie our hands for the future,” Stone said originally.
He sought to make an amendment to the original motion. However, Coun. Pat Haire advised that it would be better for council to use the money for fear of it being taken away.
With this new perspective, Stone relented on his amendment and voted in favour of the project.
“We did our part and we’ll do what we can (to help).”
— Terry Barnes
The Hard Path Road in Harbour Grace will get some cosmetic work done in an effort to get a bus stop there.