When the village of Limoges was patched into the Clarence-Rockland (CR) watermain in an agreement between La Nation and CR, a new line was laid through the village of Cheney. The length of Indian Creek Road was dug up and fitted with a new water line to serve the village with municipal water, and then the road was put back. The agreement was that the road would be left better than the construction company found it, but residents of Indian Creek Road say that didn’t happen.
Instead of putting down a new road base and gravel and regrading the road properly, the construction company simply pushed all the dug-up earth and stone back onto the road and tamped it down with a layer of gravel on top. Old potholes reopen in days from vehicles driving overtop, and whenever it rains, the road turns to mud and slop.
“You can’t even drive ten kilometres an hour down our road,” said one resident, Suzanne Lacasse. “The kid down the road, he ended up breaking a ball joint the other day coming home.”
School services have been adversely impacted. DeLuc Bus Service confirmed that school buses can’t make it down the road without risking serious damage to their vehicles. Children must walk to and from the intersection at Russell Road to make it to school, and residents are afraid that they or their children could be seriously hurt by a single misstep.
Mail service is in danger of being disrupted as well. Resident Ann Lagou said the neighbourhood’s regular mail carrier was considering not coming down the road anymore, and that delivery services such as Amazon have to drive incredibly slowly to avoid damaging their vehicles and the packages inside.
Emergency services are facing difficulties serving the neighbourhood as well. Lacasse said she had to call an ambulance for her elderly mother last week, and what is usually a two-minute drive straight down Indian Creek Road from the intersection to Lacasse’s residence took ten minutes, at least.
“The paramedics said they were disgusted with the state of the road when they got here,” said Lacasse.” They said they almost didn’t come at all. If this had been a heart attack or other life or death situation, my mother would have been in serious trouble.”
The worst part, said Lacasse, is that none of the residents saw a single quality of life increase from the construction. Indian Creek Road is served by wells instead of municipal water, and residents have dealt with sulphur water, salt water, or dried up wells for years. Every single resident was interested in hooking up to the water line now running down the road and was willing to pay for it, according to Lacasse, but the city refused to allow it as it would mean laying a second pipe for them.
“Why?” asked Lacasse, “You’re coming down here anyway. You know we have issues with water down here, but you allowed fourteen residents on the main road to hook up to it. That doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.”
Residents say they feel ignored and brushed aside by the city. They pay as much tax as anybody in Rockland, and yet their calls have gone unanswered and the city has allowed them to languish with a derelict, unusable road. One resident, Jean-Claude Lavigne, has taken to attending every city council meeting in person to request the road be fixed, but nothing has been done.
According to Jean-Luc Jubinville, Operations Services Director for the City of Clarence-Rockland, the reason the road has been left for so long is that deeper repairs can’t be done in the winter. He says the contracting company is waiting for the wet season to pass before they correct the deficiencies to the road.
“They tried to do the big part of the work before Christmas, before the winter season, and they finished in the end of Fall so they couldn’t fix the road as it should have been,” Jubinville said. “The reinstatement of the road should be done within the next few weeks.”
Residents remain skeptical, saying that they expect these repairs to just be another layer of gravel. The road needs an entirely new base, they say, or it will keep falling apart.