Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. 
(Robert Barron/Citizen)

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Larry Whetstone is fed up.

Whetstone has lived on Jeffries Road, located about a 10-minute drive southwest from Duncan in wine and horse country, for about 30 years and the state of the short half-kilometre roadway has been an issue with him since day one.

He said there have always been many potholes, warped asphalt and other issues along the road, and that’s been increasingly aggravated recently as the area becomes busier with more traffic, including large trucks, degrading the road even more than usual.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN CONSIDERS SAFETY MEASURES ON TWO ROADWAYS

Whetstone also said he has had to buy a small tractor to clear the front of his driveway, which is on the bottom of a hill on the road, of snow after snowplows pushed it in there because there is no place to put it on the other side of the road.

Whetstone said he has been calling the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which is responsible for the road’s maintenance, for 30 years about the unacceptable condition of the road, and the only action that was ever taken was that, occasionally, workers would show up and patch a few holes that would be quickly undone with wear and tear.

“The residents of Jeffries Road regularly pay our taxes, which are supposed to pay for things like keeping the road we live on maintained,” he said.

“Our taxes keep going up, but Jeffries Road continues to deteriorate.”

RELATED STORY: MORE TRAFFIC IN DUNCAN NEIGHBOURHOOD WORRYING AVONDALE RESIDENT

A statement from the ministry said it is currently working with Emcon, the ministry’s maintenance contractor for the area, to develop a plan for repairs to Jeffries Road.

“Ministry staff and Emcon are regularly monitoring and auditing the condition of our side roads,” the statement said.

“When issues are identified, like potholes and snowplowing, our maintenance contractor is required to respond within the specifications of the maintenance contract. Ministry staff also monitor and audit the performance of our contractor to ensure they are meeting the requirements of the maintenance contract. Larger issues, like road base failures and asphalt condition (beyond potholes), must be prioritized for rehabilitation amongst other side roads needing repairs.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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