A Q & A session with Transportation Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) operations supervisor Don Houston took place on June 12 at the Municipality of Yarmouth’s committee of the whole meeting.
During the session, councillors from each district presented their concerns to Houston.
Coun. Loren Cushing began the session with the topic of signage.
“It’s a subject that’s been brought up every year since I’ve been a councillor: the signage that is lacking,” he said.
Houston says this spring the road crew took advantage of rainy weather by taking an inventory of missing signs.
“We’ve put a list together on what’s needed,” he said.
During his response he added there’s been a real push for TIR to perform brush cutting, especially along the 100 series of highways.
Cushing also discussed the ineffectiveness of a culvert to prevent flooding on the curve at Fish Point, near the Yarmouth Bar. Parking lot improvements around the monument on the point are expected to take place this year and the work will raise the elevation.
Houston replied he believes there will still be a culvert to address the flooding problem, but it won’t be the system that exists there now.
Coun. Daniel Allen asked if climate change federal funding could be accessed to address erosion from tides along the Pinkney’s Point road.
“Agriculture seems to be targeted for that and roads weren’t included in the initial offering, but they’ve broadened it. I’m sure I’ll have more information later this year,” said Houston.
Work on Kinney Hill in Arcadia is supposed to go out to tender and be completed in late October. Arcadia/Pleasant Lake (150-200 metres of road improvements) is also being improved through capital funding.
Allen asked if the bridge on the Greenville Road has ever been inspected by an engineer.
“Just travelling over it, it seems rough,” said Allen.
“Every bridge in Yarmouth County is looked at every year,” said Houston. "There are over 140 of them.”
Coun. Gerard LeBlanc says residents in his district are complaining about branches being left by the North Ohio Road after being cut.
“People think it’s unsightly to still have them in the ditch,” he said.
Coun. Trevor Cunningham voiced his concern about the narrow shoulders on Session Hill.
“There’s no shoulder there and no place for a pedestrian to get off. I’m worried they might stumble and fall into traffic. That’s a very busy, high traffic road,” he said.
Houston responded by describing how the fix would be complicated and expensive.
“Where there are narrow shoulders, when you build it up, all the existing ditches are full of what you’ve added. Then you have to get into building new ditches and extending culverts.”
Cunningham was undeterred.
“It’s an issue and it’s an important one,” he said.
Coun. Patti Durkee thanked Houston for his quick response to recent concerns concerning the Main Shore Road.
The Darling Lake Road is on the three-year plan for paving. Houston is looking into the drawbridge road in Sandford to see if it is private or public. Durkee says it “desperately needs” armour stone and gravel.