Thursday, February 23, 2012
What passes for road maintenance -- in Hamilton (Part 1 of an unending series)
Really. This is one of Hamilton's busiest routes – the Claremount Access which connects the lower city at Victoria (northbound) and Wellington (southbound) with the upper city at Upper James. They rebuilt part of this route about two or three years ago, along the upper section where the southbound lanes actually are carried over a bridge, such that it overhangs the escarpment. And they somehow forgot to check the retaining wall on the other side? It collapsed yesterday, and the lanes going north into downtown are going to be closed for days. Nice tie-ups on the other escarpment access routes, especially the ones with only one lane in each direction.
If this is what passes for a good roads program, then whoever runs the Public Works Department needs to be fired. Can you imagine the chaos if this happened during a snow event (like we're supposed to get this weekend)? We pay the highest property taxes in Central Canada and this is what's happening with our money?
Long ago, Pittsburgh, a city with a similar topography, had a solution for the routes going up and down the hill – they buried them. Why can't we do that here? It might cost a bit up front but at least the roads would stay open.