ENGLEE, NL – Residents of Englee are hoping to see work done on their highway this summer.
Last week, the Department of Transportation and Works awarded a contract to conduct asphalt resurfacing and levelling on route 433, between Roddickton and Englee, to Mike Kelly and Sons Ltd. of Howley.
The tender total is listed at $1,628,423.
The 17-km route is the only road out of Englee, leading to Bide Arm and Roddickton.
Englee mayor Stephanie Fillier believes the warmer winter on the Great Northern Peninsula has had a negative effect on the state of the highway this year.
“When the ground doesn’t freeze good under the pavement, and then it starts to thaw out, it gets soft,” she said.
According to Fillier, road conditions have deteriorated to the point where you can no longer drive to the 50 km/h speed limit – a number it was reduced to just last year – in certain sections.
“If you’re doing over 30 (km/h) you’re risking your car,” she said.
She identifies some sections as worse than others.
“Just outside of Roddickton, there’s two guardrail sections and they’re the worse,” she said. “The last couple days I’ve been towing a trailer and you got to stop and just let (your vehicle) slowly roll over it. If you go any faster, it’s just dangerous.”
And she compares potholes through some sections of the highway between Bide Arm and Englee to the slots on a cheese grater.
Altogether, Fillier says there are six-to-eight kilometres that most badly need to be upgraded.
She also hopes to see work done on a couple of kilometres within town. She says the Department of Transportation and Works is responsible for this section.
Many Englee residents have to drive over the highway frequently – some every day – because of the services and jobs provided to residents outside of town.
The local school bus travels the highway daily to bring children to school in Roddickton.
The bank and clinic are also located in Roddickton, while residents have to travel the highway to see a dentist, go to the hardware store or sometimes to buy food, as the nearest Foodland is in Roddickton.
Furthermore, people have jobs to travel to outside of town as well.
Therefore, Fillier says the town is “more than happy” to hear about the work coming their way.
And she hopes the surfacing and levelling can be completed in time for the town’s Come Home Year, scheduled for August 12-18.