Your Worship Mayor Levi and members of Mississippi Mills Council,
We fully understand there are several hundred kilometres of roadways within our municipality and we wouldn’t be alone in decrying the condition of some of them. In our neighbourhood in Ramsay Ward, we’d like to draw your attention to the safety concerns resulting from the horrendous condition of a mere 3.1 kilometers of road surface on Ramsay Concession 12. Other residents may well have their own tales of woe.
Some facts about Ramsay Concession 12, east of March Road:
- High-traffic, lightly paved road (up to the intersection with the Old Almonte Road)
- There are approximately 30-35 homes on this section of Concession 12.
- There is a rural business (tractor-trailer operation) on this section of road. Smaller farm vehicles also use the Concession road.
- A developer with heavy equipment is presently constructing homes on Concession 12.
- The road is extensively used for vehicular access and egress to the the Greystone and Stonehome subdivisions, with three access streets onto Concession 12.
- Many people from the subdivisions use Concession 12 for exercise (biking, walking, running) as well as for walking dogs and baby strollers
- There is a deer path that crosses at the cemetery end that doesn’t always work well for deer and driver.
- Last week, after staff again filled the potholes, a contractor was surface dressing the 800 metres of road in the area that adjoins the Greystone/ Stonehome subdivision. According to Town staff, this band-aid cost taxpayers $26,000.
- After my conversation with the Director of Roads and Public Works, the solution for the remaining 2.2 bad kilometres of roadway was the erection of “Bump” warning signs – a joke perhaps? Or “parenthesis” for the residents along that stretch?
The Director of Roads and Public Works finds himself in a conundrum. He is given a budget. It’s not enough. And Ramsay Councillors haven’t raised their voices in support of residents:
- Concession 12 is one of two top priorities (the other being Ramsay Conc. 7) for the Ramsay Ward, “probably” slated for a complete overhaul (pulverization of bed and re-creation of surface) in 2015. Conveniently, that’s after a municipal election.
- Town staff actively fill the potholes during the year. Crews pour shovel-fulls of hot tar into the holes then drive over them. A fall, winter and spring activity away from the Yard.
- The fed’s New Building Canada Fund is the $14-billion Fund aimed at “projects of national, regional and local significance that promote economic growth, job creation and productivity.” (Infrastructure Canada). The Town has apparently not been successful at getting infrastructure dollars.
That being said, we realize eyes roll when the roadwork’s topic is raised. Councillors and staff shrug their shoulders and point to the lack of budgets and the severity of our climate – a “get-out-of-jail-free” card? But soon, according to the law of probability, there is going to be a fatality on Concession 12 and none of us will be able to shrug it off. If it wasn’t dangerous it would be funny.
- Potholes that could swallow a calf are lurking underneath the frequent pothole fillings, causing the unsuspecting driver to swerve like a slalom racer.
- Asphalt “bubbling” is leaving chunks of the road ready to be launched by passing vehicles at the heads of runners, bicyclists, dog walkers and babies in strollers.
- A “dip” that appears every winter due to poor culvert construction is capable of putting cars into earth orbit.
The “one lane” asphalt topping recently done at the subdivision end of Concession 12 has drivers electing the wrong side of the street to spare their suspension, adding unseen danger to kids and cars exiting their driveways
Perhaps other residents in Mississippi Mills have similar experiences that may make roads a defining issue for voters in this fall’s municipal elections. For now, we are asking Council to find the funds to get a total base-to-surface overhaul for Ramsay Concession 12 done this summer please.
Arnie Francis & Ingrid Kadoke
Ramsay Concession 12, Mississippi Mills, On