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Despite grading frustrations remain for Lapland Road residents

By Evan Taylor Mar 26, 2024 | 12:48 PM

Despite recent repairs to Lapland Road and Lapland Road Ext. residents are concerned it’s just a band-aid solution that will be undone with the first major rainfall of the spring.

Earlier this month we reported on the state of the road that had led to multiple vehicles being damaged, as well as creating logistical concerns for first responders.

Since then the road has been graded and looks better, however, residents like Monica Fisher see it as a band-aid solution- “It needs more than just grading since there nothing left to grade, it needs gravel and some serious attention,”

Fisher moved to the area this past winter and says if the road remains in its current state it may lead to her and other residents leaving the area, “First responders have gotten stuck, and firemen who live on this road struggle to get out for calls, so if there was an emergency what does that mean for us if it’s a rainy day when the road is muddy and impassable, it’s scary,” said Fisher.

Other issues cited by residents, on a group email chain started to raise awareness on the issue, including inadequate drainage, low points of the road prone to flooding (particularly at the dry hydrant located on Lapland Road where firefighter can fill their tanks) and hanging trees over power lines.

“I’ve lived in third-world countries with better roads than this,” said Fisher. “Because of all the hurricanes and floods, the government has been focused on big roads and bridges, but it’s time for smaller gravel roads like ours,”.

Since speaking with Fisher the Department of Public Works has responded, indicating more gravel work is to be done this summer.

Public Works Response

“Over the last three years, extensive maintenance work has been undertaken on all sections of the road. In 2021, spring and fall grading of gravel sections were conducted, along with dust control measures during the summer works period and pavement patching. Additionally, RIM work was carried out, including extensive brush cutting and gravel patching in certain areas of the gravel roads. Similar efforts were made in 2022 with spring and fall grading of gravel sections, dust control measures during the summer works period, and pavement patches. In 2023, there was again spring and fall grading of gravel sections, along with dust control measures during the summer works period, pavement patches, road surface washout repairs, ditching, and culvert repairs. These ongoing efforts reflect our commitment to maintaining and improving road conditions for the safety and convenience of all road users.

Furthermore, significant work has been completed in recent years to enhance the road infrastructure. In 2022, a chip seal project was executed from Route 325 to the end of the previously completed double chip section. This work involved a seal coat on the surface, including patching surface defects and applying a final seal coat to the section. In 2023, a maintenance pavement surface treatment was carried out, involving surface patching and one lift of pavement and shoulder gravels from Overhill Road Easterly to the end of the pavement. It’s important to note that while there are deficiencies, they are actively monitored by the Department and will be addressed accordingly with the contractor. Looking ahead to 2024, there are plans for the Gravel Road Program, targeting the end of the aforementioned maintenance pavement section for 2.0 kilometers towards Adelbert Wile Road. This work will encompass a full gravel surface rebuild, cross culvert and driveway pipe replacements, and drainage improvements, further enhancing the road’s quality and safety.”

Rain on the way to test repairs

Whether the recent grading holds together will soon be tested, with a significant amount of rain on the way. The most recent grading work on Lapland Road was completed on March 19, since which there hasn’t been significant rainfall. The forescast for the upcoming week however has lots of rain in it with about 60 millimetres projected between March 26 and April 1.