Debate continues over paving of Pitzner Road
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2016
Though residents on Pitzner Road hope to see it paved sooner rather than later, there are many more puzzle pieces that must be assembled before a decision by the Town of Petawawa is made. “I’m not trying to make any excuses, but at this point in time we don’t have a complete picture as far as what the infrastructure is like in town,” said Mayor Bob Sweet. “We are going to have to wait until (the completed road conditions report) happens and that is not until 2017.”
There are currently 11 residents and 14 recreational properties which rely on the road for access, and they “are living in a much lower standard then is found in the town,” said Wayne Bando, who approached council on Aug. 2. “They have endured dust in the summertime, potholes in the spring and fall, mud in the spring and slippery conditions in the wintertime because of not having a hard surface,” he said.
Bando has approached council in the past to discuss better road maintenance for the area, and returned now that the initial 2016 Road Inventory - Condition Report was officially released. This document demonstrates the pavement condition assessments/ratings, forming the basis of the Infrastructure Study Update and the Town of Petawawa Asset Management Plan. Using a one to 10 scale, it guides Public Works and dictates which roads need to be upgraded, paved or completely redone. Roads eight and above are considered to be in great shape, those between six and eight require some work, and so on.
The overall average for roads within the town’s boundaries is now 5.4, down from about seven. Not all roads have received a rating at this time. The report indicated there has been a “sliding of the conditions of the roads services within this municipality,” said Bando.
The issue is a common one for towns across the province as tax-based funding for infrastructure cannot always cover necessary projects. This was acknowledged by Sweet, who noted the Province of Ontario has not provided any subsidies or initiatives for road projects. Without this, the town has been hindered substantially. “We’ve lost one complete construction season as a result of that,” he said. “We need that money in order to maintain and sustain our roads,” Sweet added.
Acknowledging this fact and the results of the report, Bando was still adamant that Pitzner Road has lagged behind the level of maintenance provided to similar roads for too long, and should be paved.
However, Sweet pointed out there is still much to consider before a decision can be made. An infrastructure study is a very large undertaking with many different components. “While it is true that we have the Road Condition Assessment in place, that is only part of the overall infrastructure plan that is going to be put in place,” said Sweet.