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North Interlake highway wins ‘race to disgrace’

PR 239 to Faulkner and Steep Rock tops CAA’s 2017 worst roads list

If repairs can’t be sped up, at least slow down the traffic, say local leaders where CAA’s annual worst roads campaign ranked local roads the worst in the province.

Last week’s list put PR 239 into Faulkner and Steep Rock as the worst of the worst in Manitoba and it took an early lead in the voting, according to CAA officials.

Faulkner is a tiny burg with only a few residents, while Steep Rock has become a popular summer resort area with PR 239 well travelled by cottagers.

RM of Grahamdale leaders say they’re not surprised to hear that road is the worst of the worst.

This highway wasn’t built to withstand the heavy truck traffic hauling lime from Graymont mine in the area and it’s riddled with cracks and ruts and potholes, said RM of Grahamdale Councillor Tom Johnson.

“It’s in very, very poor shape. It really needs to be redone,” he said.

“It’s really unsafe for smaller cars, especially when they hit these dips.”

Clifford Halaburda, the reeve for Grahamdale said they’ve talked to the province about the road’s condition. “It’s in the five-year plan,” he said.

But until work gets started to fix it, his council wants precautionary actions taken.

“What I would like to see right now is that they should reduce the speed on it,” he said. “Some of those holes are pretty bad. The speed should be reduced or someone is going to get hurt.”

There has been extensive cottage development in the area around Steep Rock and seasonal traffic regularly travels this road.

Residents living near Brookdale, Anola and Pine Creek First Nation have similar complaints and concerns about rough roads.

PR 353 to Brookdale near Brandon and Dugald Road into Anola ranked second and third among worst roads in CAA Manitoba’s sixth annual worst roads campaign.

Sections of crumbling Highway 20 near Ochre which is also the main route in and out of Pine Creek First Nation, also earned a worst road ranking.

PR 307 at Oakbank, PR 450 at Goodlands, Mountain Avenue in Neepawa and PR 280 to Gillam also earned worst road rankings among nominated rural highways.

This year saw a record number of roads around the province being nominated for what’s now known as a ‘race to disgrace,’ CAA officials said.

Just over 8,400 votes were cast for 712 roads around the province, demonstrating the campaign to recognize roads that need improvements continues to grow.

“Worst Roads has achieved another personal best – or should I say worst? – as Manitobans voted on a historic number of roads,” said Mike Mager, president of CAA Manitoba.

“Clearly, many of us believe the routes on our commute are the roughest roads around and deserve to be recognized as an area of concern.”

Carman and Minnedosa’s Main streets also received the dubious distinctions in 2017.

This is a second year for Carman. Last year two sections of provincial Hwy. 13 intersecting the town vaulted the community’s Main Street to the top of CAA’s list.

As per the objectives of the CAA campaign, the results of the survey are always presented to Manitoba government’s minister of infrastructure.

Sections of Carman’s Main Street are now slated for major upgrades to begin later this year.

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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