Bumpy roads ahead
prompted some repairs.
Given that we have a provincial election winding up soon, I was fascinated to hear from former MLA Ramona Jennex that that 50 per cent of the concerns she heard knocking on doors during her last campaign in 2013 were related to roads.
“That was number one at the door,” she stated, followed by Internet service and jobs. “The public wants an investment in transportation.”
Jennex, who belonged to the Dexter NDP government, conducted a wise tour when she was in office, inviting the transportation minister to tour secondary roads in Kings County. The tour ended with the establishment of a five-year plan for road renewal.
Now I’ve heard from an incumbent politician that some of the more than 23,000 kilometres of roadways in Nova Scotia may have to return to gravel. Paving and repaving is obviously costly. But surely the work is inevitable.
Our big road problem in this province is the freeze/thaw cycle we experience every winter, which is recognized as a perfect recipe for potholes. A temporary cold patch doesn’t help a whole lot and longerlasting hot patching apparently has to wait until this time of year – and does it last?
Most springs, the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) department runs a toll-free phone line, so that the public can point out problem potholes by calling 1-888432-3233. That number connects callers to the nearest TIR base.
For 100 series highways and trunk roads, I’m told potholes deeper than four inches are marked with a sign as soon as staff becomes aware of them and are repaired within seven days. For roads with lower traffic volumes, potholes must be signed within 24 hours and are supposed to be repaired within 21 days. Potholes that pose a significant and immediate danger are repaired as soon as department staff is aware of them, says TIR.
Are potholes an election issue? Are Nova Scotians demanding better transportation routes? Should pavement renewal be the result of political influence? I hate to think that old style politics, or having a government member, will affect how soon roads get fixed in this province.
The voters of this fair province want better politics than that and we deserve open, fair and transparent governance.