Could $20 million debenture fix Iqaluit roads?

“There needs to be a redesign of the main roads, and a huge ditching program”

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

If the citizens of Iqaluit can be persuaded to vote in a referendum to spend $40 million on a swimming pool, I am sure they will be more than happy to vote for $20 million through a debentures for a complete upgrade of the roads.

Unless they fix the roads no one will be able to drive to the new swimming pool.

During my last term as mayor, the community voted to support my plea for money to pave some of the roads.

It as close, but close enough, with comments like, “Are you crazy?” “It’s impossible to pave roads in the Arctic,” and “We can’t afford it.”

However, it was approved and many of those roads have stood the test of time. The debenture was for a total of $800,000.

It is tragic that the city government, at the time of the upgrade to capital status, didn’t send a delegation to Ottawa and demand funds to prepare this city for the onslaught.

It’s not too late. We have a senator and a cabinet minister. Get them to lobby on behalf of Iqaluit.

Such road conditions cause anxiety, demoralize people and contribute to the high turnover of the population, to say nothing of the damage to vehicles. The city should be an example of Canadian know-how in Arctic conditions.

There needs to be a redesign of the main roads, and a huge ditching program undertaken with removal of those wooden poles because they prevent ditching.

Several junctions need traffic lights and removal of the rocks that line some of the streets, because when buried in snow they can be very dangerous.

A new road should be built from the airport to the North 40 to help reduce heavy traffic through the city. Iqaluit is home to some fine and capable firms that could perform all this work without resorting to imported contractors.

Sidewalks are essential. They protect the walking public. But the current system is not working. A winter works program to fabricate sidewalk concrete slabs could be established. The interlocking finished slabs would then be placed on pads during the summer months and offer the public some safety.

Culverts are needed in many areas. All current flooded areas should be photographed now so that detailed repair plans can be made during the upgrading. This will ensure the problem areas are not neglected.

Twenty million dollars will be needed for the roads. How much money will be needed to resolve the dump is another matter.

Bryan Pearson
Iqaluit


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