Pitted road covered by warranty
But who will pay to pave roads for the Queen’s visit?
The contractor who paved the road between the airport and four corners last year will pay to repair the potholes that have developed over the winter.
Iqaluit’s Senior Administrative Officer, Rick Butler, said at this week’s city council meeting that the work, done by Baffin Building Systems, is still under warranty and will be repaired at no cost to the city.
“It’s the contractor’s responsibility,” Butler said, referring to a rather large pothole outside the Discovery Lodge Hotel and others on either side of the turn there.
But not all the damage causing jarring to motorists is under warranty. Butler said over the cold months some of the work done with front-end loaders for snow removal removed chunks of pavement.
Butler pointed out there isn’t a lot of paving in the city, so the damage doesn’t happen on a regular basis.
Approval of the city’s paving plan is awaiting the municipal capital budget expected in the next few weeks. A visit by Queen Elizabeth II in October has sparked some talk that perhaps more paving will be done in the city so Her Royal Highness doesn’t have to travel on dusty, bumpy roads.
Coun. Linda Gunn asked for reassurance that the city’s plan will not be altered simply to accommodate a royal visit.
Butler said the plan will remain as is, but suggested the territorial or federal governments might want to pitch in.
“Maybe there is some help that might be got from high places that are concerned about our roads where the Queen is going to be,” Butler said. “If they choose the Queen to go there and it’s off our pavement plan, the city taxpayers should not be [responsible].”
Coun. Glenn Williams echoed a concern about dust in the capital city, suggesting a sunny weather forecast over the next few days could lead to very gritty consequences.
Gunn agreed, stating jokingly that she has to stop chewing bubble gum on her daily walk, as it ends up being more dust than gum.
Acting director of public works Paul Barrieau said he has about 20 bags of calcium to put down on the roads to help the situation. The calcium absorbs the moisture under the road surface and brings it to the top to help keep the dust down. Another 40 bags will be arriving on sealift after the ice breaks.
The early spring has created another problem. While the roads are dry and already dusty, the sea ice has yet to break, which means the usual routine of pumping salt water into a truck to spray on the roads has been delayed.
Barrieau said after the weekend and some safety checks, he hopes to have the truck on the road using surface water from puddles or streams around town.