Local roads among worst of the worst
- Published on Thursday, April 20, 2017
P.R. 353 at Brookdale finished 2nd overall in the CAA Manitoba Worst Roads campaign (photo courtesy of Becky Szucki)
By Eoin Devereux
The Neepawa Banner
The communities of Brookdale, Minnedosa and Neepawa have found themselves on a list that they’re likely not happy to be on. On Tuesday, Apr. 18, CAA Manitoba released the results of its Worst Roads campaign. The annual initiative is aimed at pressuring governments into spending money to repair problematic roads. Brookdale’s Provincial Road (PR) 353 came in second in both the overall and rural categories, while Minnedosa’s Main Street South finished eighth overall (fifth in the rural road category) and Mountain Avenue in Neepawa was 19th overall (ninth - rural roads). Just over 8,400 votes were cast on 712 different roads. Provincial road 239 in Faulkner was the top vote getter for 2017.
An extenuating circumstance to the road situation is that all three local roads are under provincial jurisdiction. That means the province is in charge of the primary maintenance and repairs. Minnedosa mayor Ray Orr said it makes for a tough situation.
“It’s not a situation we’re happy about. On top of that, there are certain things that we as a municipality can’t do without advising the province. Many people around the community understand the circumstances we’re dealing with, though from time to time, there are some who come up to us saying ‘Why aren’t you fixing the street?’ We are doing everything we’re able to on repairs,” noted Orr. “Now, we’ve been informed [by the province] that they’re going to be working on Sixth Avenue this season, which is very good to hear. At the same time, we would have been just as happy to see that work being done on Main Street instead, but they’ve focused their priority someplace else.
Neepawa's Mountain Avenue finished 19th overall in the CAA Manitoba Worst Roads Campaign
In Neepawa, it’s a similar situation on Mountain Avenue, as the Town is dealing with potholes and crumbling concrete. Mayor Adrian de Groot said that council has expressed to the Manitoba government the need for upgrades.
“It’s something we’d like to see action on. We’ve expressed our concerns and I’ve asked our administration to make overtures through the proper channels to see if anything can be done to address the situation. There are a number of localized areas that are bad. We’re following up with the province and seeing what can be done,”
Municipality of North Cypress-Langford Reeve Bob Adriaansen noted that this is the second straight year that PR 353 has finished so high in the overall ratings. He noted many local residents remain hopeful that the multiple-year inclusion will finally spark action from the province.
“All you have to do is drive down that road to see why it’s so high on the list,” stated Adriaansen. “[The RM] does what it can to fix it up, but it all comes down to what the province wants to do with it. We’re still hopeful that this is something that they’ll move forward on soon. But until that happens, all we can do is patch up what we’re able to as best we can.”
As an alternative to the worst roads report, this year, CAA Manitoba has also introduced a most improved road category. Winnipeg’s St. James Street and the Trans-Canada Highway earned recognition for the repairs they have undergone in recent years.
A listing of the top ten worst roads in all of Manitoba in 2017.