Some gravel roads are taking a beating this spring as the ground thaws and starts to heave.
In the RM of Ste. Anne, some gravel roads are worse than others.
Reeve Paul Saindon says there are a couple of roads that are notorious for heaving each spring and those are municipal roads 42 and 43 just west of Richer.
“(Road) 43 used to be bad but it’s not quite as bad. But 42 has to be, by far, the worst one, Municipal 42 East,” he says, noting that there is significant heaving on those roads. “They are very close to the highway because that's where the double and triple gas lines go across our roads,” Saindon adds. “And those are the really sensitive spots.”
The worst spots of heaving seem to happen in areas where gas lines cross the gravel roads.
“Because those gas lines maintain a bit of temperature and then the roads swell up like crazy on either side, so you end up with a very serious dip for a short time in the spring,” Saindon explains. “And although you put signage there, some people seem to get a little forgetful and then they go for a bit of an airtime experience and that's how you start remembering things, when it hurts.”
Saindon says they will send out crews to repair gravel roads as soon as the weather allows. Meanwhile, he stresses that motorists will want to drive a bit slower and pay more attention to the roads for a while.
As for the spring melt and how it is impacting land and the river flowing through the municipality, Saindon reports ideal conditions so far.
“That week of thaw and then freezing up has seemed to taken up a lot of the water. So, we did do some, you know, precautionary ditching in some of the bigger flowing waterways and just in the off chance that it would be a quick melt,” he says. “But as far as it goes right now, I don't see a big threat.”