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Residents demand Fraser’s Grove repairs

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Fraser's Grove resident Michelle Moulson stoops by the boulevard where a chunk of curb was knocked out this winter. The North Kildonan street was named one of Manitoba's 10 worst roads.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

Fraser's Grove resident Michelle Moulson stoops by the boulevard where a chunk of curb was knocked out this winter. The North Kildonan street was named one of Manitoba's 10 worst roads. Photo Store

At just two blocks, Fraser’s Grove was in some pretty heady company, being mentioned in the same breath as major Winnipeg thoroughfares like Pembina Highway and St. James Street.

It wasn’t for the right reasons, though — all three were named to CAA Manitoba’s Worst Roads list in April.

Fraser’s Grove, in North Kildonan, was not on the city’s list of Capital Street Renewals for 2013, which was approved by the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure on April 30.

The North Kildonan streets on the list were Irving Place from Henderson Highway to Grandview Street, and Grandview from Irving to Henderson.

"I went and looked at those streets, and I would just love it if our streets looked like that," said Tim Kerr, who lives on the street.

Coun. Jeff Browaty said since the city drafted the list, it received $7-million from the provincial budget. He estimated the Fraser’s Grove repair will cost approximately $1-million.

"I’m identifying it as my priority for the additional money," said Browaty, adding the city is battling to increase its infrastructure budget. "The province has to sign off on it.

"Because it’s such a compact time frame, it probably won’t get done until later in the construction season. I don’t want to raise people’s hopes too high — it could fall into an early project for 2014."

People living along the North Kildonan residential street hope the plan comes to fruition.

Michelle Moulson, who lives near the intersection of Fraser’s Grove and Larchdale Crescent, said snow removal was poorly done — several feet of the curb near her home were accidentally removed this winter — and she pointed to a tree that was damaged by the process.

"It was so bad at one point that the rebar was poking up at the end of the street, which is dangerous," said the four-year resident. "All the curb was up on here (the lawn). If kids were playing, they could have been hurt."

Compounding matters was a water main break at the Fraser’s Grove and Larchdale intersection this winter. Moulson said Couns. Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan) and Browaty explained that crews were understaffed, which she said led to a two-month wait time to fix the intersection — and crews scraping ice at times like 7 a.m. Sunday morning in the meantime.

Kerr, Moulson’s neighbour, started a petition earlier this year to have the road fixed. He said every resident he met signed the petition, noting there were fewer than five houses he was unable to contact.

"I’ve only lived on that street for two-and-a-half years, but the road hasn’t been great and it’s only getting worse," he said.

Kerr said he presented the petition to Browaty and Mayor Sam Katz in early April. While he heard back from Katz the next day, the message was that little could be done at the time.

Kay Sulyma, who has lived on the street for 45 years, said this is the worst condition it has been in during her time there. She feels the band-aid patch jobs are doing more harm than good.

"I’ve never had to complain before, but now, it’s terrible," she said. "Every time they put tar down, we get it on our cars because it doesn’t dry up."

John Mooney pointed to the top of his driveway, which is chewed up where it meets the road, as to why he feels the road deserves its place on the list.

"Anything (of improvement) would be nice," said Mooney, who moved onto the street six months ago. "I can see (my car) getting a nice ding or two. It’s not fun dodging potholes to get home."

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