Route 90 needs more than patching: paramedic

Barb Sweet
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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.

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.

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Gaskiers, Placentia, Colinet

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Recent comments

  • Canadiangal
    April 09, 2014 - 19:12

    I agree Nicole!! My boyfriend is from Colinet. We travels over the roads daily. It's terrible!! What's it gonna take to get these roads fixed? I think the governement needs to get their priorities straight! I should also comment on the lack of snow clearing from the Dpartment of Highways! Or as I like to call them Department of Hideaways!! Terrible!! And not just in around St. Marys but EVERYWHERE!!! It doesn't matter what road you travel on you have to drive like a drunk driver to get away from massive potholes!! What's this province coming too??? Shameful in my opinion!!

  • Barbara Breen
    April 09, 2014 - 17:00

    The road conditions are terrible.Hopfully something gets done soon,its hard enough to avoid moose and potholes too.Is it going to take a serious accident for the situation to improve?

  • Jane
    April 09, 2014 - 10:39

    Nicole Ryan Yetman you are so right about the holes,I think they should check out the whole Irish Loop they are some great man holes , It doesn`t look good for our tourism .

  • kim
    April 09, 2014 - 09:53

    The roads are disgusting. Filling in potholes will not fix them by any means. I'm in Mount Carmel and the road is full of pot holes and its heaved up everywhere. Driving over it is like being out on the ocean with a great swell on. Not fit..

  • Shannon
    April 09, 2014 - 09:21

    It is embarrassing to see our provinces roads in such a horrible state. On top of over priced housing, a growing crime rate, shocking health care and poor customer service everywhere, now we have dangerous roads. How is this problem getting ignored and not being fixed? I recently had my car checked after being unable to avoid several potholes at night in St Johns. It turns out I have three badly bent rims!! My car isnt low by any means and I pride myself on being a good driver. I was told by my dealer to take the rims into Custom Wheels as they were the only place in the city that fixed rims. When I enquired there about getting my rims fixed, they told me it would be a 4-5 week wait because they were overbooked !! That many broken rims in a city!!??? I therefore had to order new rims and of course they will take a month or more to get here...well maybe more if the ferry is still stuck and unable to get to this island. A friend of mine told me that in Feb, she was driving in Mt Pearl and saw 8 cars pulled over- under an over pass and she assumed there had been a car accident. As she was slowing down she luckily noticed a huge pothole/crater in the road and managed to swerve away from it. When she pulled over and got out she realized that her neighbour was one of the drivers and out of the 8 stopped, 8 had busted tires and were pulled over after hitting the pothole!! They said other people had hit it and drove off as well!!! A week later she asked her neighbour if the city was going to pay for the damages and he said he was basically laughed at when he called the RNC and the city of Mt Pearl. As well, the next day on the way to work, he realized he couldnt turn his head. His doctor said he had bad whiplash from hitting the pothole !! The city said he could put in a claim.. however that normally there will not be a response and if there is one even for denying him, it would take up to a year. So, does anyone have any insights as to what one is to do?? We cant walk to work on the sidewalks...they aren't visible yet...flying asphalt from cars makes it dangerous, and alot of places don't even have sidewalks or public transit . And we are breaking up our cars and putting our lives at risk by driving on our roads. Who is accountable ?

    • Yo mama
      April 09, 2014 - 11:20

      Who ever made millions laying them should be accountable.

  • Patricia Finn
    April 09, 2014 - 08:51

    Way to go ,Nicole. The picture says it all!! The tourism Minister should be very concerned with all the tourists travelling the Irish Loop.It is in a deplorable state and needs immediate attention.I guess with an election coming in 2015 we'll see the paving machines out in full force( a la Joey Smallwood style!!)

  • BMW
    April 09, 2014 - 08:19

    These roads were better maintained in the 80`s! Then again the quality of work done on our highways and roads was to a higher standard of today! What the hell is wrong with our industry standards these days!!! All about the mighty dollar!!

  • Madonna Martin
    April 09, 2014 - 08:12

    It 's not a road anymore . It's merely a path. We should invest in horses and carts not motorized vehicles. It's totally ridiculous!! We are supposed to be classed as a ''HAVE PROVINCE'' now. What a Newfie Joke that is!! The condition of the main road through the Irish Loop is nothing short of a joke. God help those who have to travel over this dangerous route especially those who have to try to get to hospitals etc. A total shame in this day and age....

  • Madonna Martin
    April 09, 2014 - 08:09

    It 's not a road anymore . It's merely a path. We should invest in horses and carts not motorized vehicles. It's totally ridiculous!! We are supposed to be classed as a ''HAVE PROVINCE'' now. What a Newfie Joke that is!! The condition of the main road through the Irish Loop is nothing short of a joke. God help those who have to travel over this dangerous route especially those who have to try to get to hospitals etc. A total shame in this day and age....

  • wavy
    April 09, 2014 - 08:07

    At a conference in T.O., I once got to spend a few minutes and briefly chat with a "famous" musician (who shall remain nameless here, for fear of starting a Twitter war), one who has played shows in and travelled across the island of Newfoundland. I told him I was from Newfoundland and *had* intended to ask him of his "island experience", what he thought of our beautiful province, the people, hospitality, scenery, ammenities, etc. The first words out of his mouth were: "Jesus man- you guys got to get yourselves some roads!" then proceded to tell me how their tour group, roadies, management all agreed the trip across just the TCH portion of the island was the worst road they had ever been on (we all know places in our own hometowns where the roads would have been worse). It was an embarrassing turn in our conversation, to say the least. Now, if the poor state of the roads and highways is the single lasting impression of Newfoundland from someone the province is going out of its way to impress, accomodate and attract to the island, like a famous band, what impression does the average tourist leave with? Not good enough.

  • Mary Moylan
    April 09, 2014 - 07:44

    Appalling conditions. I've never seen worse. Will it take a serious accident to get any kind of repairs here? Between the moose & these manholes the roads are impassable. For shame!

  • Orla Hegarty
    April 09, 2014 - 07:44

    I just moved to this area. Another concern is that the local shops/restaurants/b&bs are very concerned that the tourist industry is going to be gravely affected by the road conditions. In particular, motorcyclists share the good roads in a region by word of mouth so if these roads are not improved quickly the shops will lose a lot of income.

  • mary
    April 09, 2014 - 07:16

    you are so right Nicole.when we drive around here its like you are doing a jijsaw puzzle, those are not potholes those are man holes,

  • McLovin
    April 09, 2014 - 06:46

    Drove this road a few weeks ago, and it is by far the worst road I have ever driven on.