To draw attention to the state of Route 90, paramedic Nicole Yetman-Ryan poses with a fishing pole while seated next to a large pothole. — Submitted photo
The province far from placated annoyed Route 90 motorists with a vague acknowledgement of the pothole-riddled highway at a recent road works announcement, says a rural ambulance paramedic.
“It’s getting worse. Spring has sprung and the asphalt is flying everywhere,” said Nicole Yetman-Ryan, who told The Telegram in February that the roads are so bad along the Irish Loop, cardiac monitors are practically useless unless the driver pulls over.
“The holes are getting bigger. They are not fixing themselves.”
The worst, said Yetman-Ryan, is a roughly 30-kilometre stretch between Gaskiers and St. Joseph’s.
Last week, Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath and Placentia-St. Mary’s MHA Felix Collins were in Colinet to announce paving for more than 20 gravel kilometres of Route 91 to Southeast Placentia and a section of Markland Road.
But Yetman-Ryan said Route 90 is a main thoroughfare and should have gotten priority.
A Transportation and Works spokesman subsequently told The Telegram there will be some asphalt levelling on Route 90 around Gaskiers, but could not provide further details on the extent of it, suggesting that would be included in an upcoming tender.
Levelling basically involves filling potholes and running a new layer of asphalt over the existing pavement.
- Read more special articles:
- Less communication, more snowclearing: Puddister
- Build your own pothole crawler
- Old cars and potholes ... so what else is new?
- Province will spend $200 million on towns over next three years
Yetman-Ryan said that just sounds like patching and it’s not good enough. She suggested fed-up area residents might end up staging a protest, perhaps blocking the road to all but emergency vehicles.
She recently was photographed with a fishing rod by one of the potholes.
“I could have picked 100 more,” she said of the hole.
“That’s what our road looks like. … I’m poisoned with it all.”
Yetman-Ryan said the potholes are occasionally filled, but it doesn’t last.
“It’s gone beyond the point of fill. Whole sections of the pavement are gone,” she said.
In February, Yetman-Ryan noted that rural paramedics 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 a patient’s condition and relay information to hospital personnel waiting their arrival in St. John’s.