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Rural roads worst in CAA’s 2016 voting

Carman mayor says 2016 campaign sends strong message about just how bad roads are

The mayor of Carman isn’t very happy to have his town’s Main Street now known as Manitoba’s worst road. But Bob Mitchell says at least it draws attention to a problem local people regularly give him and his council an earful about.

Two sections of Provincial Hwy. 13 intersecting his town — dubbed Main Street South and Main Street North — made the top 10 of CAA’s fifth annual worst roads campaign last week.

“The whole road is a mess,” said Mitchell. “It’s to the point where we honestly feel it’s a danger. If you watch vehicles going down those roads, especially the trucks, they’re moving around on the road trying to miss the potholes.”

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CAA holds the yearly campaign each spring to call attention to the poor state of Manitoba’s roads, asking citizens to nominate and vote for roads with the most potholes and crumbling pavement and other hazardous conditions.

More than 660 roads were nominated in Manitoba, and for the first time in the campaign’s history, highways in Carman, Brookdale, Goodlands, Boissevain and Gillam bumped long-standing Winnipeg streets from the list, according to the CAA. It was a tight race between the top two rural roads, with Manitoba 353 at Brookdale running a close second.

worst roads in Manitoba-CAA

More than 8,800 votes were cast during the four-week campaign.

“This has been a record year for Worst Roads, and the campaign clearly illustrates that Manitobans believe streets all over the province need some TLC: tender loving construction,” Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba said in a news release.

Mitchell said it’s frustrating for local leaders because all town council can do is keep setting funds aside in its own budget as its share of the repairs for whenever the province gets around to it.

The campaign is an annual opportunity for citizens to raise the alarm about road conditions but this year’s CAA event is well timed just ahead of a provincial election. This year’s CAA’s worst road declarations send a strong signal to the province just how bad roads have become in many rural areas, Mitchell said. At the end of the Worst Roads campaign, reports of roads voted on are distributed to government leaders for review.

About the author

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Lorraine Stevenson

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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