Bandaid Highway Solution No Solution At All – for Sep. 6, 2010

What is it going to take before the deteriorating state of Manitoba Highway #34 is addressed? I am writing this letter not only as a concerned citizen, but as a farmer, and parent as well. Letters have been written and phone calls have been made by many asking that this stretch of pavement be repaired properly and that the shoulders be built up to meet the level of paving.

As the size of the average farm continues to grow, so does the size of the farm equipment required. The width of these implements makes travelling on Highway #34 perilous, not only for the equipment operator but for all daily traffic. Springtime brings massive air-seeders and planters to our highway as well as countless highboy sprayers and anhydrous tanks that move at a much slower rate than other highway traffic. Harvest fills the route with fully loaded grain and potato trucks, semis and combines. Attempts to pass the slower, wider equipment are extremely risky when considering the patchy, rough pavement and the dangerous drop-off at the edge of the shoulder. We have witnessed near accidents as vehicles, giving room to passing implements, slip over the seven-inch drop-off at the edge of the pavement and fight to re-gain control (see photo).

As time has gone by No. 34 has been patched and re-patched. This quick-fix solution not only has a very short shelf-life but has created other problems as well. In the last couple of years, increased use of the highway has resulted in the indentation of the tire paths. This left a raised strip which threatened to bottom-out lower cars and made passing vehicles difficult. Patching only the tire paths reduced the bottoming-out problem but created a dangerous swaying motion of trucks that haul liquids such as fertilizer, fuel, and water; yet another recipe for disaster.

This highway must be repaired properly and the shoulders built up before the inevitable injuries and fatalities occur. Time is of the essence as we are in the middle of another busy farming and trucking season.

Sincerely, Linda Jonk

Bruxelles, Man.

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