Irish Loop potholes derailing summer tourism plans
Some people living on the St. Mary's Bay side of the Irish Loop say tourism is down despite record-breaking good weather, and they're blaming it on the condition of the highway.
A 40-kilometre stretch of road last patched in April is starting to deteriorate already, and area mayors say their area of the province has been practically forgotten.
"I took it upon myself and I filled up [some of] the holes because we're having so much damage. People [get] $1,000 damage to their cars and trucks and campers, and we're really finding a decline this year in Irish Loop in motorcycles," said Ryan.
Riverhead Mayor Sheila Lee said the condition of the highway is a major problem.
"Tourism is one of the things that we want to be able to draw on, but what can we do with tourism when we have road conditions like this?" she said.
Lee added the roads aren't just an issue for tourists visiting the area.
She said the increasingly senior population living in many communities on the Irish Loop is having a difficult time with the roads.
"If they damage, which they have, their vehicles and it costs them anywhere from $800 to maybe over $1,000, where are they getting that money to? What's that going to do to them for the rest of the year? That's a big setback," said Lee.
The province has promised to repave the worst five-kilometre stretch some time this summer.