No plans for closed road beyond considering study in 2018 budget
BY SARAH WHITAKER
Special to the VOICE
Sulphur Springs Drive and the necessary studies required to get the road fixed are back on Council’s radar but it is likely to be 2018 at the earliest before any work is done to get the road re-opened.
After the Voice questioned Mayor Dave Augustyn on why, after almost 18 months, Sulphur Springs Drive remains closed, the Mayor raised the issue at the Tuesday, Sept. 5 Council meeting.
Noting he thought the study needed was underway, Augustyn asked what the status of the road was.
Public Works Director Andrea Clemencio explained staff is not proceeding with any further investigation of Sulphur Springs at this time because there is no funding to undertake the studies needed.
Clemencio added the budget amount of $35,000 asked for in 2017 was cancelled by Council and the Town does not have the resources or capability to do a study of the scale required at Sulphur Springs.
In spring 2016 heavy rains and waterflow eroded a section of the road, which traverses 12 Mile Creek between Effingham Street and Roland Road. The road has been closed to traffic in that area since.
A second section of the road, north of the current closure, is also beginning to fail, with some of the road washed away.
Clemencio noted there are serious consequences if this section fails completely as there is no secondary access to Sulphur Springs.
Councillor Marv Junkin noted he hoped Council can get the money needed or the study approved in 2018, noting it’s a “crime” the road is closed.
“The longer we let it go, it’s not going to get any cheaper to fix,” said Junkin.
Councillor Gary Accursi, who lives on Sulphur Springs, said he would rather the Town spend the $35,000 on construction than on an engineer’s study, noting he hopes when the request comes to Council for the 2018 budget it includes numbers for a design build and other options.
Clemencio noted staff continue to monitor the blockade during regular road patrols and continue to stay in touch with local residents.
No direction was given to staff, which means the current plan to ask for funding in the 2018 budget is the next step to getting the road re-opened.