In June I discussed the sad state of the streets in Tisdale with Town Counseler Bill Zorn. He assured me that we would see some paving this fall but the town's hope was to garner some infrastructure money from the Federal and Provincial governments to do a little catch up work. It is fairly obvious to anyone who has lived or even visited Tisdale in the past decade that maintaining the streets and sidewalks of the community has been a very low priority as the serious problems of the old water mains and replacing the water treatment plant took the priority for the Mayor and counsel.
This fall we have seen the rebuilding of several streets after three years of no paving the back log of damaged streets is a long one and the repairs and rebuilding has barely touched the majority of the damage. There are actually three kinds of street damage to contend with. The normal wear and tear of heavy traffic and unstable soil conditions is one of the factors involved as it is in the need to replace the street from main street all the way to the hospital.
But, the second contributing factor to damage to the streets is the need for the town to ripe up significant parts of the town every year in order to replace the cast iron water mains. This process means that replacement of the pavement on dug up streets take place every year but unfortunately it is three years since the last paving was done in Tisdale.
While the town works to replace these cast iron mains there are many many instances each year where the pipes give out and emergency repairs have to be carried out destroying the street surface and sometimes the sidewalks in the area. Just around the corner from the Maple Ridge condominium there are three separate excavations that have been carried out in the past few years and will not be repaired this season. There are similar patches all over the town but only those in the immediate down town area received any attention this year.
The third factor is what you see in this picture. Heavy traffic on a substandard roadway. Heritage road was built to a standard well below what most municipal governments put into a grid road yet it has to carry an really heavy load of traffic every day. If you are going to have a road heavily used the least you can do is maintain it, put a grader on it weekly and look after the surface. Tisdale has chosen to treat Heritage Road with a lot of neglect. The Tisdale grader is mostly used for snow removal and rarely is used druing the non-snow covered months. Heritage road is not the only road way that is treated with similar neglect. Drivers will know that Tisdale's 40kph speed limit is to fast for many of its pot holed streets.
In my discussions with Mr. Zorn he said that the town wants to pave the new roadway that was built last summer connecting the north end of Newmarket with Heritage road. Northern Steel now uses this road to move work from one plant to the other and loads of this type are pretty heavy. Clearly, from his comments it is clear that the town counsel is aware of the poor condition of its streets but it is also clear that without help from high levels of government they do not intend to do anything more than the minimum to catch up on years of neglect.