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Thursday , 24 June 2021
Road maintenance issues Warren Garnier, M.D. resident, would like to see fixed.

M.D. residents frustrated about roads, maintenance

Road maintenance issues Warren Garnier, M.D. resident, would like to see fixed. 

M.D. of Bonnyville residents brought road maintenance concerns to council on Wednesday.

Bruce Chartrand asked questions about the road work done on Township Road 630 north of Ardmore, which has heavy tanker traffic.

He asked if the M.D. will continue to do patch work, instead of fixing the entire stretch of road that’s beat up.

“It’s the waste of the money that bugs me because they said it was $6 million to that portion I’m talking about and over the past four years they’ve already wasted $1.5 million which to me, that should be going to doing the road right the first time, instead of just doing the bandaid type thing,” said Chartrand.

Bruce Chartrand

Since 2014, roughly $1.5 million has been put into rip and relay and patchwork repairs on the road.

The M.D. has a tender out for work on Township Road 630 from Range Road 442 to Range Road 444A and Range Road 475A, south of Township Road 605.

“I don’t care about the truck traffic. That doesn’t affect us. It’s the damage that is being caused by those trucks. Ninety per cent is at least caused by those trucks. Depending on the road, to me, they should have a higher percentage, based on oil lease usage and stuff.”

Reeve Greg Sawchuk agreed that heavy traffic has done damage to the road, which was never intended to withstand that load when it was built.

“This gets back to the whole road priority map, where we actually looked at 630 as being one of those main routes going right across that we’re looking at long term as a priority.

“Now, there is no way that M.D. can afford to pay for all of those priority roads all at once. And so we actually have to pick which pieces are the worst. And so there’s a two and a half-mile section that is going to be done this year,” said Sawchuk.

“That’s the problem with a lot of our roads is that they were formed by taking the trees and the brush that were in the ditch and putting it into the center and then putting clay and gravel on top.”

Maintenance needs to be better

Warren Garnier, who has 45 years running of road work experience, criticized the lack of road maintenance the M.D. has done for the years.

He showed various examples where shoulder pulls are needed on the roads as water is pooling near the edges.

“We’re getting no maintenance on our roads. This is they’re falling apart,” he said.

“Building it is the tough part, maintaining it’s the easy part, but you need to build it properly,” he continued. “We have roads that don’t need $1-million spent on them.

“If a grader can’t keep a road in shape that four or five vehicles drive down every day, there’s something wrong with our system.”

Another of Garnier’s examples of poor road maintenance.

Council received the criticisms well and are interested in remedying the issues.

“He made a good point, where if you do have any sort of water sitting, or if you end up pushing gravel off to the side and it ends up holding moisture, that moisture gets underneath your road and softens it up,” said Sawchuk.

“And in years like we’ve had in the past few, where we’ve had a lot of rainfall, those problems are exacerbated,” he said.

“It’s something that we have to work on and if it requires training to be done, then we’ll make sure it’s done.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.