Village staff have a brave plan to tackle ‘alligatoring’ and other monsters on Queen Charlotte roads.
Ben Greenough, superintendent of public works, recently spoke to council about the first engineering survey of Queen Charlotte roads since the village incorporated in 2005.
“Honestly, I thought there would be more doom and gloom in there, but it’s not too bad,” said Greenough.
Finished in July, the report shows the village’s 7.6 km of paved roads are generally in ‘very good’ condition — something that surprised Greenough until he saw similar reports showing what cold winters do to sidestreets in mainland towns like Smithers and Terrace.
There are a few monster sections with alligator cracks and lots of potholes, like the Third Avenue cul de sac going up to 10th Street.
Engineers found it would cost $92,941 for a full repair — roughly nine times what the village spends a year on standard road maintenance — and it only serves four driveways.
Queen Charlotte’s 1.47 km of gravel roads are another story.
The report ranks most as ‘poor,’ due mainly to lack of drainage.
One bad stretch near Eighth Street and First Avenue has no ditches, culverts or catch basins at all.
“When this road gets flooded, there’s nowhere for that water to go, and once you start driving on that it’s going to create potholes and rutting,” said Greenough.
Even so, Greenough said residents rarely complain about gravel roads, and none are in such bad shape that they need urgent repairs.
The only immediate concern in the network is the culvert that channels Sturdy Creek under 2nd Ave and 2nd Street — an $18,500 job that has to be done this summer.
“That could go at any time, and we need to deal with that,” said Greenough, noting that the Community Club, Hall, and DFO office are all downstream.
Besides a plan for keeping Queen Charlotte roads in shape, Greenough said the engineering report gives the village its first planning-level map of the road network, accurate to within one metre.
The digital map includes layers such as property lot lines, right-of-ways, road widths, drainage ditches, and it can be filtered to show nothing but lot lines, if needed.
“This was a huge bonus for us,” said Greenough, noting that he and other staff were basically working with hand-drawn maps before.
“If a property owner comes in and wants to see details about their property, we can pull this up and have it nice and clean for people to see.”