Greater Sudbury will spend $36 million on its roads next year, but when bumpy boulevards in certain wards don't make the repair list, city councillors like Joscelyne Landry-Altmann have a few words for staff.
"Why are some roads not addressed in worse condition than other roads that are being re-surfaced in better condition?"
City staff report that sometimes road problems can't be seen on the surface — and sometimes a road gets so bad, fixing it won't fit into the annual budget.
That's the case with Lorne Street, the major throughfare going through Coun. Joe Cimino's ward.
"So I guess we have to deal with a Lorne Street that is horrible, because it's too horrible," he said. "It makes no sense."
But the city is doing some major Sudbury streets next summer, including Regent, the Kingsway and a $7 million overhaul of the Lasalle-Notre Dame intersection.
Coun. Jacques Barbeau did have kind words for staff at a recent meeting.
"You're never going to make 12 councillors happy, that's for darn sure."
Especially when city staff say Sudbury roads need $77 million next year — not the $36 million the city is spending.
South End strain
There never seems to be enough money for roads — a reality that will only be augmented in the future as traffic in the south end will become so bad that the Four Corners could one day look like a highway interchange, staff said.
Roads director David Shelstead noted the intersection is becoming the main way out-of-town traffic comes into Sudbury. He also said new subdivisions and retail stores planned for the south end will only make it worse.
"The four corners will need improvements, especially if all this development goes ahead — commercial and residential," he said. "And it's going to cost a lot of money."
Shelstead said a proposed $15 million road linking Regent Street with Laurentian University would ease the strain on south end streets.
But that Laurentian parkway has been controversial and some community groups have called for it to be dropped from the city's long-range plans.