Infrastructure issues: Foss Road dip, Bigelow water main

A sign alerts drivers to the presence of a dip on Foss Road in Fenwick. VOICE PHOTO



Numerous residents in the Fenwick area have expressed concern that a pronounced dip in Foss Road near the railroad tracks may be a serious culvert problem, but it appears as though the dip will correct itself in the spring.

“The deflection is due to frost heave in the area of eight-year old culvert,” said Town Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Marc MacDonald. “Signs were erected, and Roads staff continue to monitor the area in road patrols. Heaves such as this typically disappear with the spring thaw.”

An independent engineer consulted by the Voice offered a similar appraisal.

“The road on each side of the culvert has heaved with frost but the culvert hasn’t—a case where the culvert could be called ‘too good an installation,’ said the engineer. “That problem will cure itself when the frost goes out in the spring.”

“People don’t realize or believe what frost can do. I’ve seen water frozen inside a square structural steel tube that made it round. A ski lift collapsed in British Columbia—a steel column leaked and filled with water, and then when it froze it split the column.”

But another infrastructure problem will not be cured by warmer weather.

A pipe on Bigelow Crescent off Haist Street has been leaking water for some time. When asked about the situation, MacDonald said, “It is suspected that this is a water service leak, likely on the municipal side of the service that is scheduled for repair.”

MacDonald further asserted that “unique conditions at this site prompted the need for specific parts to be ordered, hence the delay, and it is a priority for water staff.”

Fonthill resident Bob Spark, who lives around the corner on Woodstream Boulevard, walks his dog past the leak every day.

“It’s been leaking since sometime in December,” said Spark. “The water’s running out into the ditch and right under the driveway.”

Spark said that he was puzzled by the Town’s response, wondering how it could know that specific parts are needed if it is only “suspected” that the problem is a water service leak, and if the pipe has not been dug up to confirm the precise problem.

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