The six months Keith Stampe spent going back and forth to St. John’s to visit his dying brother was rough enough without dealing with the state of the Irish Loop.
“It wasn’t easy and the road didn’t help us,” Stampe said Monday of travelling back and forth from his home of Portugal Cove South, about eight kilometres from Trepassey. His brother, Gerard Perry, was admitted to the Miller Centre palliative care unit just before Christmas and died of brain cancer in mid-June.
Some weeks, Perry made the run back and forth five times.
“People pulls away from the holes and runs into you. I seen a lot of it,” he said of observing people dodge the asphalt craters and the potential of accidents.
Stampe was one of the participants in a survey of motorists’ troubles by an Irish Loop woman fed up with the pothole plight of the route.
Orla Hegarty sent her results to a number of government officials, politicians and media Monday.
More than 40 people of nearly 70 surveyed said their vehicles suffered damages as a result of rough roads on the loop, everything from wrecked hubcaps to alignment and steering troubles.
The cost of damages range from free do-it-yourself repairs to Stampe’s $2,000 bill for tire and vehicle wear and tear on the 2005 Silverado he previously kept in good conditon.
“Yes, I beat the guts out it,” Stampe told The Telegram. “Right now the front end of my truck needs ball joints, tie rod ends. It’s rattled to nothing from back and forth that road.”
Hegarty could not be reached for comment as of deadline Monday, but described the state of the Irish Loop as deplorable.
Transportation and Works says it’s working on the Irish Loop.
Some 4.5 kilometres of Route 90 has already been paved from Witless Bay towards Bay Bulls, including re-surfacing of the LaManche Bridged, a spokesman said.
This week about onekilometre of Route 90 in the St. Vincents/Holyrood Pond area, as well as 6.5 kilometres of Route 90 from Gaskiers towards St. Mary’s. General maintenance and road repairs have also been completed in the Ferryland and Petty Harbour area.
The spokesman said early tenders helped get a head start on construction season around the province.
Other work in the region includes the replacement of the Northeast Trepassey Bridge and the rehabilitation of the Bay Bulls River Bridge on Route 10 and an announcement that the Robert E. Howlett Memorial Drive will be extended.