By Steph Crosier
Community leaders today cut the ribbon to officially open newly refurbished Bayshore Rd through the Mohawk territory.
“It means residents have a better road to drive on” said Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in an interview. “They are happy about that.”
Maracle said that the road had been repaved in 1986 when the water and sewer system was put in. So the new road was just a resurfacing project.
“It’s been widened,” said Garry Jewell, of G.D. Jewell Engineering and project manager. He said that with different pouring techniques they eliminated grooves in the road that had been formed by high volumes of traffic over time. These grooves caused rough roads and hydro planning when it rained. Jewell said, “it should be good and smooth for 20 to 25 years.”
The road is important because it is a high traffic area. Maracle said for residents who live and drive along the road it was unsafe. The road was thinner and pedestrians and bikers could not go along it safely.
The reason why it has such high traffic is because the road is part of Prince Edward Hastings and a direct route to Deseronto and Kingston.
“We sort of have an informal arrangement with Prince Edward Hastings that has to be over 100 years old,” said Maracle. “They could have the road through the territory if they maintain it.”
Jo-Anne Albert, warden for the County of Hastings, said in an interview that council was the one who went to the provincial and federal governments for support.
“We are the ones who have to put the application in for infrastructure,” said Albert. “So the county of Hastings was the one who filed the application. We had been talking about this for a number of years, and put money aside.”
When the government of Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund was announced the council decided it was an opportune time to apply for funding.
“Hastings County only has a few kilometres of road in the territory and this happens to be it,” said Albert. “So it was one that we really felt it really needed to be done.”
The governments of Ontario and Canada each contributed a maximum of $228,114, one-third to the project each. The County of Hastings funded the rest to a balance of $684,342.