Provincial and town interests make keeping roadways up complicated.
There is nothing easy about driving in Newfoundland. Weather heavily impacts visibility, snow and ice makes slippery roads almost impossible to drive on, and potholes can destroy a vehicle’s suspension and tires.
The roads in Torbay are no exception. However, the town faces complications with many of the main roads that go through Torbay. Many of those thoroughfares don’t fall under its jurisdiction.
Mayor Craig Scott says that Torbay Road, the bypass road, Marine Drive, Indian Meal Line, Bauline Line, as well as parts of Pine Line, are provincial roads and fall under provincial jurisdiction. This makes many services like paving and snow clearing difficult for the town. Because they don’t own the roads, the town can’t make the fixes and changes to give residents a smoother ride.
“So, for instance, if there’s potholes on Torbay Road … it’s really outside of our jurisdiction to (fix the roads), and we have to be very careful on what types of additional work we take on,” said Scott.
Cape St. Francis MHA Joedy Wall and Transportation and Infrastructure minister Elvis Loveless did not respond to email requests for comment.
Ron Coombs, a local mechanic, says bad roads are often the culprit when a customer brings in their car.
“You’re looking at a lot of wear and tear on your front end,” said Coombs. “It’s constantly getting a workout down these old roads,” he said of the cars he sees brought into his shop.
“Yes, it’s provincial jurisdiction, and provincial government, but it’s our residents.” – Craig Scott
Customers, he said, are finding it hard on their pocketbooks.
“They’re terrible … Marine Drive is gone, that’s shot … (Bauline Line) is starting to wash out now.”
The town and the province, said Scott, have to cooperate to fix the issues with the roads.
“I think that we work pretty well with the provincial government … in the last eight or nine years in particular.”
The town has been more proactive with making repairs and additions to roads, adding crosswalks and crosswalk lights around the town near schools.
But the mayor says the town can only maintain the roads it owns.
“Yes, it’s provincial jurisdiction, and provincial government, but it’s our residents.”