Irish Headline Road still has problems, say councillors

In this diagram from a South Dundas council agenda, councillors are upset with the condition of Irish Headline Road even after work was done on the road in 2016. The township is waiting to see what North Dundas plans to do to repair the road. (South Dundas via Newswatch Group)

SOUTH MOUNTAIN/MORRISBURG – Some township councillors are “Fighting Irish” when it comes to a road shared with their northern neighbours.

And South Dundas councillors are prepared to see what their North Dundas counterparts plan to do with Irish Headline Road, near South Mountain. It’s a four kilometer east-west route between County Road 1 (Carmen Road) and County Road 16 (Brinston Road).

South Dundas councillors received a report last week, which recommended some shoulder improvements – even after roughly $110,000 in work had been done to the road in 2016 by South and North Dundas.

It was based on a request to assess the work done on Irish Headline, Hanes Road and Upper Canada Way to see if the work was satisfactory.

An assessment in December by an engineering firm rates the road as good to excellent.

But a number of councillors took issue with that report.

Coun. Archie Mellan said he wouldn’t support the recommendation because it was “not the road the residents want or need.”

Coun. Bill Ewing also took issue with the report, saying issues they had seen were not addressed. “It (potholes and water ponding) was all the pictures that were taken. The water is ponding on the road from one end to the other. I’m not going to support it (the report) either,” Coun. Ewing said.

“My issues with the road is the lack of drainage. The structure maybe good but the drainage…there is standing water all over the place. I have a hard time with this as well,” Coun. Marc St. Pierre said.

“Let’s call a spade and spade. I think what council wanted, to be quite honest with you, is a new paved road. They did a double surface (treatment) and no one’s satisfied with it,” St. Pierre added.

Councillors also pointed to depressions in the road where there are culverts.

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke said the township received $750,000 from EDP Renewables for road damage and “that road took it all…every bit of it.”

South Dundas has $54,000 budgeted for the road this year which is matched by North Dundas (total of $108,000).

To the surprise of Mayor Evonne Delegarde, Coun. Archie Mellan said someone had already come in a put asphalt on top of a culvert within the last six months “which speaks volumes” on the work done on the road last year.

Mellan suspects the work was done in the last few weeks. “It wasn’t there last fall,” he told council.

In the end, councillors agreed to ask for a staff report on a top of lift of asphalt with a proper road crown, as well as cutting back the shoulders of the road and address the road drainage and rutting in the east lanes, in consultation in North Dundas.

In the meantime, North Dundas council meets Tuesday night (March 14) to talk about the road.

As for Hanes Road, Deputy Mayor Locke called it an “animal” and said “it’s a poor piece of (construction) work” that was done last year. The road is now assessed as “fair”, according to the report.

Hanes Road is a connecting link between County Road 2 and Lakeshore Drive (County Road 4), west of Mariatown.

Township staff will be coming back with options for that road.