Paramedic deplores condition of Route 90

Barb
Barb Sweet
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A rural ambulance paramedic says a stretch of Route 90 along the Irish Loop is so bad that cardiac monitors are practically useless unless the driver pulls over.

“To work in this kind of situation, it’s hideous,” said Nicole Yetman-Ryan, who travels that road regularly on the hour’s run to

St. John’s and back.

“This is the worst winter we have ever had. This road is to the point now it’s almost impassable.”

The worst, said Yetman-Ryan, is a roughly 30-kilometre stretch between Gaskers and St. Joseph’s.

She said rural medics were given $30,000 cardiac monitors a few years ago, but with roads rutted and full of potholes, the already sensitive machines are unreliable this year.

Paramedics need accurate readings to monitor the patient’s condition and relay information to hospital personnel waiting their arrival in St. John’s.

Even manual blood pressure machines can be impossible to use on such roads, Yetman-Ryan said, adding the road conditions make the ride uncomfortable for patients even though they are secured on stretchers, and the job harder for the paramedic tending to them in the back of the rigs.

“We’re being bounced around like ragdolls,” she said.

“My  big issue is government spends so much money advertising for tourism on the Irish Loop. The (tourists) don’t realize when they get there how bad the roads are to travel on.”

Yetman-Ryan said the road gets patched up, but not properly resurfaced, and last year there was little work on the stretch that’s now deplorable.

“Not even a kilometre,” she said.

Attorney General Felix Collins, the MHA for Placentia-St. Mary’s, was in the area about a month ago to look over roads with local Transportation and Works officials to help him put together a priority list to recommend for this season’s funding.

“I didn’t need to make that trip to find out what the roads were like. I knew anyway,” he said Monday.

“I concur with the needs in St. Mary’s on Route 90, the main drag.”

When told by The Telegram about the trouble paramedics are experiencing on Route 90, he said firefighting vehicles and school buses are encountering problems with roads in various areas.

Collins noted while there are numorous issues in St. Mary’s Bay, with 540 kilometres of roads, much work has been done to Route 90 over the years, and tens of millions of dollars spent across the district.

“We’ve got work that’s needed on the Cape Shore, the road to Ship Harbour, road in Long Harbour, through Markland, plus the two gravel roads in the Colinet area,” Collins said of some of the needs.

He said he itemized a list to the minister of Transportation and Works and his officials.

Safety issues such as bridges and culverts get priority, and then it becomes a matter of weighing where the rest of the money will be spent, Collins said. Decisions will be made around March.

“From my perspective, there is no bigger issue or more contentious issue, nothing bigger on my plate,” he said of the role roads play in district matters.

“It’s no doubt a challenge, a real challenge to address it all.”

 

bsweet@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Long Harbour, Colinet

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Recent comments

  • Barbara Breen
    March 04, 2014 - 11:17

    Tourism plays such a big part in our provience in the summer its a shame,we may not have any tourists.Who wants to travel our roads?The sick people having to travel by ambulance to hospital have to,its time somebody has to listen and get action.

  • V Hayward
    February 26, 2014 - 20:53

    Well said Nicole .I witnessed a drive in an ambulance back in Jan and it was awful . We live on the beautiful, very travelled Irish Loop but if the road conditions do not improve we can forget seeing many tourists this year . I find it difficult to drive over the roads each day. It is like going through a maze; one minute you are on your own side of the road the next minute you are on the opposite side .WE DESERVE BETTER .

  • Duffy
    February 25, 2014 - 17:08

    Want to get it paved do what we did on the Argentia Acess Road several years ago. Started writing letters to the Travel Mags in the USA advising not to bring a camper or good car into Argentia because the roads to the TCH will damage it. Always send a copy to whatever party cheerleader MHA is in office. Paved the next year BUT I am sure that had nothing to do with it -yea right!

  • darlene
    February 25, 2014 - 11:51

    yes, try travelling over that road with your ankle broke, those potholes are no thrill. Also snow clearing on that road is discusting...wheres the salt, gravel only gives ya a broken windshield

  • Deb
    February 25, 2014 - 11:30

    It's a serious issue of safety - If you take a drive along the bus routes alone and experience what our young students experience every day it would or should be an eye opener. I think a good idea is, some of the decision makers take that drive in a school bus - along with doing a run or so in an ambulance if the experience of driving in their own vehicles isn't an eye opener - allowing them to realize the seriousness of the road conditions along Route 90 and all connecting!! The pot holes / "man holes" are alarming alone BUT add to that the road sides that are washed away and in some areas, as a result you have one lane rather than 2 lane roads!! Lets get serious before we are forced to due to a serious accident - it will be but a matter of time. Drive safely a stay aware Route 90 drivers and passengers!

  • Deb
    February 25, 2014 - 11:29

    It's a serious issue of safety - If you take a drive along the bus routes alone and experience what our young students experience every day it would or should be an eye opener. I think a good idea is, some of the decision makers take that drive in a school bus - along with doing a run or so in an ambulance if the experience of driving in their own vehicles isn't an eye opener - allowing them to realize the seriousness of the road conditions along Route 90 and all connecting!! The pot holes / "man holes" are alarming alone BUT add to that the road sides that are washed away and in some areas, as a result you have one lane rather than 2 lane roads!! Lets get serious before we are forced to due to a serious accident - it will be but a matter of time. Drive safely a stay aware Route 90 drivers and passengers!

  • sharon finlay
    February 25, 2014 - 10:44

    Every Year Thats The Cry,The Roads Are So Bad,If The Government Would Put Some Money Into The Road And Do It Right,They Keep Spending Good Money After Bad, And Its All In Vane,My Husband Is A Dialysis Patient And He Opted For Home Dialysis Rather Than Drive Over That Road 3 Times A Week,He Started Out On Having To Go To St Johns To Do It,But He Would Drive Back And Forth In Our Own Vehicle, My God My Heart Goes Out To Anyone That Have To Drive Over Those Roads, Its About Time We Should Send A Strong Message To The Government That Our Roads Needs To Be Done,We Will Get Lots Of Promises Next Year,Election Coming.

  • ruth
    February 25, 2014 - 09:41

    As an EMR I have the privilege of travelling route 90 at least 5 times a week.Our paramedics are almost as sick as our patients by the time we reach the hospital from being bounced around in the back.We just don't have potholes they are more like manholes.Yes Mr Collins a lot of money has been spent on our roads 25 years ago . Tourism is a big deal in our economy well if a tourist travels the Irish Loop once its a guarantee that wont be back for a second trip.These tourists spend more on rented cars or campers than the government has spent on our roads the passed 5 years. These potholes we will call them are not even filled in with gravel anymore we cant blame the highway personal..oh that's right for they get there orders from who THE GOVERNMENT

  • sheila Lee
    February 25, 2014 - 09:23

    The Irish Loop is the most traveled destination by far in our province. I am part of a dynamic group right now that hopes to create a beautiful Tourism Destination Place that can bring thousands of visitors to our area and create a significant number of jobs. However, none of this can happen without good roads. I truly hope this will be given serious consideration by our Government.

    • Michael II
      February 25, 2014 - 10:14

      Serious consideration? This crowd of chicken livered good-for-nothings wouldn't know it if it hit 'em between the eyes. We took a trip "around the loop" last summer and vowed it would be the last. We normally do three with visitors. St. Vincent's Beach was so good while it lasted.

  • mary
    February 25, 2014 - 09:18

    i have to agree with Nicole those holes are not potholes some of those are man holes. this road isnt to drive over especially in an ambulance .its about tome for the government to do something woth those roads.

  • tax payer
    February 25, 2014 - 08:46

    Hey Felix. travel Route 100 from the east entrance of Dunville through Furndale all the way to Branch and on to North Harbour. Check out the road conditions from the "Y" to the top of the hill in Jersey side. Check out the road through Bonds Path and South East Placentia.. Come on Felix. your the man. your the person responsible for all roads in your district.

  • Pat
    February 25, 2014 - 08:43

    When human lives are at stake, it should not be a very difficult decision as to where "the rest of the money is spent"

  • Dolf
    February 25, 2014 - 08:37

    Again, this PC government has been awash with money no previous administration had access to. And what have they done with it? Pissed it up a pole.

  • Maureen young
    February 25, 2014 - 08:35

    I agree our roads are not fit to drive over now just imagine when spring hits and everything thaws how bad are they going to be...myself and a few more protested a few years back but all we got was patchwork done so please we needs something done!!!!!

  • Mary B. Molloy
    February 25, 2014 - 08:04

    I drove from St. Shott,s to The Wilds to work on the weekend . I will never forget the condition of the roads, nothing only huge holes, can,t avoid some of them because you don,t see them until you are up on them , and if you do see them you just have to go into them anyway if you met another car. I came to St. Shott,s in 1969 and I,ve never seen the roads as bad since than. i would like for the Minister of Transportation to take a drive in to this area and see for yourself what we are all talking about, seeing is believing.

  • janelle
    February 25, 2014 - 07:21

    The roads are horrible, the government should put some money into gettin them fixed up. people who have to travel the loop on a daily basis is going to beat up the vehicle they are driving it's to expensive to fix your car every week.

  • marcella fleming
    February 25, 2014 - 07:21

    Those roads are terrible this is A safety issue we had to travel to the hosipital on sunday with my who has cerebral palsy and he would not go in an ambulance because it was to hard on him so we took him in our owm machine pretty bad when young people complain we need help here now

  • Geri
    February 25, 2014 - 06:53

    Hey if you want to see a road that's boncey take a short drive down from the intersection in St.Jospehs on route 90 down along route 94 to O'Donnells and Admirals Beach. The same ambulances and buses go over that each and every day, I honestly don't know how they get back and forth its just one mess of freakin holes. As I said before you would not put a horse an buggy on it if you thought anything about them. Every now and then you will see highroads out with a bit of stuff filling up the holes and first rain its all out what a waste of money, because that is all they have been doing the past ten years I am sure.Then again they only do what they are told to do...not there fault... I am going to go take a video from St. Josephs to Admirals Beach one day soon BUMPS and all....I pity the ambulance attendants who are trying to save a life in the back of those rigs. I rest my case!