‘The Road Less Gravelled’ in Croque/St. Julien’s

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Dear Editor:

For the past several weeks residents in White Bay Central, this side of the Northern Peninsula, have been expressing their concerns in your paper with regard to road conditions in their respective communities as well as the cross-country road.

Well, I’m about to voice my concerns on behalf of the residents of Croque/St. Julien’s and the condition of our so-called road, “The Road Less Gravelled.”

Let me fill your readers in a little bit with regards to Croque Road. Over half this road was an old woods road constructed by some people who had a saw mill set up and was used for trucking logs, lumber, etc.

In 1974/75 the government used this same road, covered over the sticks and stumps with rock and gravel, widened it out a little, took away some turns, added some more on to give us the so-called road we have today 37 years later and still nothing major done to it.

Last fall four kilometers between the branch and our community was done with crushed stone which left that part of the road not too bad to drive over. This past spring it was the worst I’ve ever seen in all the years it’s been there (not that it’s been good at any time) – potholes by the scores and sticks and stumps up through everywhere. It was in deplorable condition – enough to make you sick – not fit for man NOR BEAST to go over. If someone had to get sick, they would be better off dying at home with their families than dying in the ambulance halfway over the road.

This spring when the road was so bad, I took some pictures and together an email, I sent them to Mr. Tom Hedderson (Minister of Transportation and our provincial member, Mr. Christopher Mitchelmore, with no reply from the Minister. About two months ago some places on the Croque Road was done with a form of crushed rock – more like beach rock. It wasn’t all done. It was done in sections to cover up the potholes and sticks. Where is it now? Pushed to the sides of the road by trucks and cars. Where will it be by next spring? Pushed over the side of the road by the plow with the snow – a waste of time and money as far as I’m concerned.

This road needs to be upgraded. It is down level with the ground and in the spring it’s overflowed with water in lots of places. The road itself is like a snake because of all the twists and turns – very dangerous especially for people who don’t know the road. We have school children who travel the road twice a day to go to school in Main Brook, over 20 kilometres away. They go to school with upset stomachs from the rough ride. (If I had kids of school age now, they would NOT be travelling that road unless something was done to it.)

Our mail comes over that road, some of us drive to work over this road, as well as travel to the health clinic and bank, etc.

It’s so unfair. We do deserve a decent road. We’re here to stay. Whether our numbers are 50 or 5,000, we need to be treated equal. We all make up the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. They know where we live when there’s an election on the go because these few votes could be the deciding votes of who wins or loses.

I think it’s high time this government became aware of our existence because in my opinion they don’t know that rural and outport Newfoundland and Labrador even exist.

We are a “forgotten breed” with the “The Road Less Gravelled.” Over potholes and sticks we had to travel. Shame on our government, we know they don’t care. We’ve seen their neglect in 37 years.

Elizabeth Kearney

Croque

Organizations: Dear Editor

Geographic location: Croque Road, Newfoundland and Labrador, Main Brook

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