Op­po­si­tion says gov­ern­ment ig­nor­ing dan­ger­ous road con­di­tions

The Labradorian - - NEWS -

The Op­po­si­tion is lash­ing out at Pre­mier Dwight Ball’s gov­ern­ment, ac­cus­ing the Lib­er­als of ne­glect­ing peo­ple’s cries to im­prove road con­di­tions in the prov­ince.

“In var­i­ous parts of our prov­ince, the Ball gov­ern­ment is ig­nor­ing de­plorable road con­di­tions,” Trans­porta­tion and Works critic Barry Pet­ten stated in a news re­lease last week.

“Lo­cal res­i­dents are ex­press­ing con­cern that it’s plac­ing the lives of the mo­tor­ing pub­lic in jeop­ardy.”

Pet­ten said Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Steve Crocker is fail­ing to ful­fil one of his core man­dates to make ma­jor road­ways safe. He said ba­sic up­grades such as pot­hole re­pair, shoul­der­ing and rou­tine main­te­nance are be­ing disregarded.

He said the Lib­er­als “boasted” of a sum­mer main­te­nance pro­gram, but that through­out the sum­mer road con­di­tions con­tin­ued to be chal­leng­ing in many ar­eas of the prov­ince. He said night­time work, which was ex­pected over the sum­mer months, started in late Septem­ber and he’s de­mand­ing to know why.

“The mo­tor­ing pub­lic should not have to bear the con­se­quences of dys­func­tion at the gov­ern­ment level in eval­u­at­ing and cor­rect­ing dan­ger­ous road con­di­tions,” Pet­ten stated.

“If the pub­lic works of­fi­cials are stretched be­yond their ca­pac­ity and lack the equip­ment and per­son­nel, the min­is­ter has an obli­ga­tion to hire staff and get the work done as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“Road work needs to be com­pleted be­fore win­ter comes to en­sure the roads get the at­ten­tion they need.”

He said the Trans­porta­tion De­part­ment has re­leased a pri­or­i­tized list of roads ear­marked for work this year, but it has re­fused to show the rank­ings of roads that were not ear­marked for work this year. He said it’s also slow in get­ting to some of the work ear­marked for com­ple­tion in the cur­rent year.

“It’s im­per­a­tive for the pro­vin­cial Trans­porta­tion and Works min­is­ter to en­sure dan­ger­ous stretches of road are re­paired with­out any fur­ther de­lay be­fore some­thing tragic hap­pens,” he stated.

He said one such lo­ca­tion of con­cern is a stretch of the Ir­ish Loop be­tween Trepassey and Peter’s River.

Keith Hutch­ings, the PC MHA for Fer­ry­land District, said the stretch of the Ir­ish Loop from Trepassey to the St. Shott’s Junc­tion is se­verely pot­holed and ex­tremely poor for driv­ing. The Stony River Bridge (or Mut­ton Bay Bridge) at the en­trance to Trepassey is se­ri­ously eroded, and some of the rail­ing has plunged into the river.

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