Pothole repair doesn't go far enough, says St. Alban's group

The tender for road repairs on the Bay d'Espoir highway has been awarded, but a group in St. Alban's says the construction doesn't go far enough.
Motorists in St. Alban's have to exercise caution while driving on the main road, which residents say is overrun with potholes - with no big fix in sight. (CBC)

The tender for road repairs on the Bay d'Espoir highway has been awarded by the provincial government, but a group in St. Alban's says the construction doesn't go far enough.

There's no way to cut around them, you got to go through them. I mean, there's just no room anymore, they're virtually right across the road- Robert Organ

With no fix in site for Route 361, a group of residents formed a committee to commission the province to get repairs done to their roads.

Robert Organ, a member of the committee, said driving in St. Alban's is like an off-road adventure.

"Hold on to your hat — and your seatbelts, make sure they're on," he said. "There's no way to cut around them, you got to go through them. I mean, there's just no room anymore, they're virtually right across the road."

Organ lost two brand-new studded winter tires to the potholes this winter.

According to Organ, government has promised to fix the roads in the town for a couple of years, but have yet to act.

Too little, too late

However, committee member Barry Manuel said the larger concern is the connection to the Bay d'Espoir highway, which has earned the title of one of Canada's worst roads. 
Barry Manuel, a member of the pothole committee in St. Alban's, says the fixes scheduled to come will take too long, and residents can't afford to wait. (CBC)

"It's our lifeline. We rely on it to get to hospitals, we don't have cell phone service on the highway, so a lot of people have been breaking down, getting flat tires and stuff [with] no cell service," said Manuel

Last week, the province contracted out 33 kilometres of road work for Route 360, but only a section of that will be done this year.

Manuel said the wait for completed work is just too long.

"We need things done now, not next year," said Manuel.

"The way it is, the tender that was put forward, that was awarded, basically says the work has to be completed by September of 2015. We can't wait for that — too much damage has been done now, we need roads now."

The committee members are planning to march through the streets in protest on Wednesday.

Members said they won't stop kicking up a fuss until government takes action.

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