Presented by Stan Pogorzelec , Roads Committee Chairperson
ROADS COMMITTEE REPORT
According to my recent conversation with the area M.I.T. Roads Supervisor Derwin, the following is being planned for the summer of 2016. This report will cover all the road repair, patchwork and maintenance for all roads under the jurisdiction of M.I.T. in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.
At this time, they will proceed with the usual patchwork and crack repair on Provincial Road 307. Some of the deteriorated culverts in the park will be changed out also. Other operations to be undertaken, will include the normal trimming or cutting of grass and bush on the road’s right-of-way. This will continue for the rest of the summer. Normal grading of all access roads will take place too. Basically, all road maintenance operations will be the same as previous years, with no major work planned for this summer.
At this time, we have not heard from the Department of M.I.T. regarding the speed reduction zone extension at Betula Lake. A decision will be announced in the near future which will hopefully make the intersection at the Betula Lake boat access road and 307 much safer by including this area in the present 60 kilometer per hour speed reduction zone.
The recent old culvert change out and new installation completed last summer, between the North Park Gate and Otter Falls, has proven to be successful by significantly reducing the spring depressions or dips in the surrounding areas. This condition, commonly referred to as the “Spring Speed Bumps”, has been improved by the widening of the repair and patch area where the new culverts were placed. These depressions are now spread over a wider area, thereby softening these dips. As a note and for your information, the old gravel base that 307 presently lies on, does not meet the current code. Although it did back then, when it was being built. This base is too thin to provide for proper water drainage, thereby not being able to prevent the annual spring frost heaving that the road is presently being subjected to, because of the amount of frozen water underneath of it. This is the sole reason the road lifts up in the spring and the culverts stay put or fixed, because they were installed to the current codes (with additional gravel for drainage and frost), whereas the old road wasn’t. This is also the dilemma that the road’s department faces when considering major work, including expansion or widening to 307. The current road is technically “Grandfathered” to exist as is, with repair or patchwork continuing to be made, as done presently, but excluded from all major work, including any widening. In short, the whole road would have to be ripped up and upgraded to the current codes, especially the old gravel base thickness, before any major new work would be approved. With the fairly tight and limited budget that the road’s department operates under, especially in the park, this work would be unrealistic and unimaginable at this time. You’re welcome to raise any of these concerns or complaints with your local M.L.A. or Parks and try to convince them to get more funding for the park’s road infrastructure, but in lieu of the lease fee increases matter before the Manitoba Provincial Government and the Whiteshell Cottager Association, including others, it would be better to not “rock the boat”, at least at this time.
At present road maintenance is mostly occupied with patrolling and maintaining the road closures at the east end of the Park (Caddy Lake), to prevent cottagers and unauthorized persons from entering this dangerous area, due to the major forest fire affecting this area.
Derwin, has also confirmed that the South Shore Lake Road at Falcon Lake is the responsibility of Parks and all concerns or complaints should be directed to them.
This ends my Report.
Roads Committee Chairperson