The plight of Upper Canada Rd.

In this photo taken Dec. 6, 2014, Upper Canada Rd. shows signs of pavement breakdown and heaving. The Municipality of South Dundas recently discovered it owns the road, which has been maintained by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

SOUTH DUNDAS – The mayor of South Dundas wants to do more research on a major link between Highway 401 and Upper Canada Village.

The Municipality of South Dundas recently learned it owns Upper Canada Road.

But the stretch of highway has always been maintained by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

“I want to research that and find out what the history is on that first and then we’ll go from there,” Delegarde told Cornwall Newswatch.

“We’ll have to prioritize it in with the rest of the roads too because there is a section that is in need of repair,” she said.

But the mayor doesn’t know what roads will take precedence until the public works department presents its list at budget time.

Under the Ontario Municipal Act, the municipality has to keep a minimum maintenance standard for highways it owns.

Since the road is not maintained directly by the township, Delegarde was asked whether the relationship opens the municipality to liability.

“It’s my understanding that they’re still continuing with the maintenance. We really haven’t talked about it so we don’t know all the details. It just came to our attention only in the last two months when we made those funding applications,” she said.

Delegarde is referring to the applications for infrastructure funding through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIP).

South Dundas was turned down for funding to resurface Main Street in Morrisburg and Riverside Drive in Riverside Heights.

Delegarde couldn’t say whether those roads would be in budget, but suggested the projects were not urgent.

“There was an opportunity for funding there (through OCIP) so let’s come up with something that we can apply that fits it. And if it doesn’t fit in, then it will fit in our regular road structure,” she said.

A St. Lawrence Parks Commission spokesperson said they are still doing winter maintenance on Upper Canada Road but declined further comment, pending a meeting with the mayor and council.

This picture showing a cross-section of Upper Canada Rd. on Dec. 6, 2014 shows pits and heaves in the road. The link between County Road 2 near Upper Canada Village and Highway 401 has been maintained by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. It was only recently discovered the road is actually owned by the municipality. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
This picture showing a cross-section of Upper Canada Rd. on Dec. 6, 2014 shows pits and heaves in the road. The link between County Road 2 near Upper Canada Village and Highway 401 has been maintained by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. It was only recently discovered the road is actually owned by the municipality. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

United Counties roads manager Ben de Haan says Upper Canada Road was identified as a roadway that could be desirable to fit into the network of county roads during a 2000-01 study.

But de Haan says no formal discussions have happened since that time.

In an email to Cornwall Newswatch, South Dundas Public Works Manager Chris Bazinet said his department has not been given any direction on any possible next steps for the road since it’s not in their asset management database.

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