Parts of the 62 km drive between Gold River and Tahsis Tuesday were a teeth-chattering, bone-jarring experience even at 10 km an hour and those who live in Tahsis, say they’ve had enough of the poor conditions.
“I and many others have had vehicle damage from the potholes. I had a rear spring break on my pickup truck going through them,” said Tahsis resident Jack Taylor.
Taylor was one of several people in the community who took it upon themselves Monday to fill dozens of potholes by hand just outside the village.
“Ten or twelve of us spent about two hours and filled up about seven kilometres of potholes,” said Taylor.
Tahsis mayor Martin Davis has lived in the community for 22 years and wants to see the maintenance of the road go to the Ministry of Transportation.
“The last several years I’ve noticed that the road conditions have generally deteriorated and it makes it really difficult for people getting in and out of town, particularly our seniors,” said Davis. “It leads to a lot of vehicle damage and I believe it hurts our economy because it keeps people away.”
Davis said sport fishing is a big tourism draw but visitors will shy away from driving the road in its current condition.
“It can catch you off guard, sometimes you think you’re doing alright and you’re driving along at the speed limit and you come around a corner and all of a sudden you hit a deep chain of potholes,” he said. “They can be as deep as 4 to 6 inches and you lose control. You try to hit the brake and but you’re bouncing off sideways.”
Head Bay Forest Service Road is a logging road with lots of truck traffic that affects the road conditions according to Davis.
Mainroad North Island is the road maintenance contractor and says its grader has been out of service for mechanical reasons but will be back on the road soon and the area manager says the road is a priority.
“We’re fully aware of the importance of the road, we have crews dedicated to that road and that road receives more funding and attention than any “C” Class road in our entire service area by a long shot,” said Chris Cowley.
“Unrelenting rains in the rainy season, then heavy snows followed by continuous freeze-thaw cycles have made maintenance a challenge this season,” Cowley added.