One hydro pole left standing - Poor condition of Hwy 148 causes concern

Added: Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:05pm
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An old hydro pole left along Eardley Road is said to be a danger by residents as is the deteriorating condition of the road as it awaits construction.   

Allyson Beauregard

MUNICIPALITY OF
PONTIAC – Area residents are eager for construction to begin on the 2.5 kilometre stretch of Highway 148 between Terry Fox and Maple roads near Aylmer.
The tender to begin the work was posted at the beginning of May and work is expected to begin in early August, about seven months later than originally planned. According to Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin, the set-back is due to the large number of expropriations required (73), and a delay in moving and removing utility lines and poles.
Only one of the old poles remains, causing alarm for some residents, as is the condition of the road. “The road is now so bad that drivers need both hands on the wheel. Trailers [and heavy vehicles] are jumping all over. That single pole is beckoning; it’s a fatal accident waiting to happen, standing there with no danger signs or flags. It was barely visible during the winter and we are lucky no one has hit it yet.
“We cannot continue gambling our lives on this road,” said Lori Perry, an area resident.
According to Perry, two vehicles have lost a wheel while swerving to avoid a collision with a bouncing, oncoming vehicle, and there was an accident caused by
a car hitting a large pothole, closing  the road for some time. “I’ve seen residents along the road shovel dirt and rocks into the potholes in front of their properties, trying to help the situation,” she added.
According to Karine Sauvé, Ministry of Transport Regional Spokesperson, the remaining pole will be removed when construction begins. “The electric system on the pole belonged to the municipality, which caused certain delays; it is now
disconnected from the mains,” she said. 
However, the MTQ does not plan to do any maintenance before construction begins. “Since this project involves complete roadway rehabilitation and is scheduled to begin [soon], no patching work is expected before then,” Sauvé told the Journal. The municipality said the road is the MTQ's responsibility.
The complete reconstruction of this section of Highway 148, which includes widening the lanes and shoulders, rehabilitation of the drainage system, and the addition of a section of the Route Verte, first started with the acquisition of the land needed for the project between 2012 and 2014. Work to install new poles and relocate utility lines (Hydro, Videotron and Bell) began in 2015 and continued until last fall. Fifty-six old poles were then removed, with one still remaining standing.