Toronto Star

A soupy, muddy mess of a street

- JACK LAKEY What’s broken in your neighbourh­ood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email or follow @TOStarFixe­r on Twitter

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does the photo with this column tell you?

It looks like a constructi­on project has turned a street into a sea of mud, even though the city says it monitors the job every day to ensure that the street is not a sea of mud.

So, do you believe your eyes, or the city?

I was driving last Friday on Goddard Street, near Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue, when I got to Waterloo Avenue, where constructi­on was underway, west of Goddard.

It was just after 4 p.m. and the job was clearly done for the day: There were no workers to be seen and the equipment was parked at the side of the street.

But the road was covered for at least a block by a thick layer of soupy mud, a clear violation of a city bylaw that requires contractor­s to ensure that the road allowance is not fouled by mud or debris.

Just for fun, I drove east along Waterloo until I got to Bryant Street, where the street was also under constructi­on, part of the same project to install infrastruc­ture to alleviate local basement flooding.

A few workers were just finishing up for the day, while the street was nearly as mud-coated as it was at Waterloo and Goddard.

Status: I emailed the city to ask if its projects are exempt from the bylaw on fouling the road allowance that it applies to private constructi­on, and if not, why its contractor is allowed to make such a mess.

I got an astounding reply from Dan Campeanu, senior manager of the basement flooding protection program, suggesting the job site is clean as a whistle.

“On Tuesday Dec. 8, the project team did a site inspection to review the current condition of the roadway on Waterloo Avenue. At that time, the roadway was in good condition — clear of mud and debris.”

He added that “this work zone is inspected on a daily basis by the site inspection consultant team to ensure and enforce the cleaning of the roadways by the contractor.”

The city’s assurances that the job is subject to strict inspection­s and enforcemen­t reminded me of an old Soviet Union joke: The Minister of Propaganda has increased the chocolate ration from eight grams to four.

 ??  ?? A muddy Waterloo Avenue.
A muddy Waterloo Avenue.

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