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Potholes continuous problem on English Hill in Carbonear, resident says

Residents of English Hill are hoping to see some changes with the way their road is dealt with.
Residents of English Hill are hoping to see some changes with the way their road is dealt with. - Chris Lewis

CARBONEAR, NL — Residents of English Hill want to see some changes with the way their road is handled.

English Hill is a relatively short street which can be found along Columbus Drive, just before entering Victoria. While it isn’t the most populated area in Carbonear, residents who live there still want to see their road treated the same as the majority of the town’s streets.

Dawson Higdon is one such resident, having lived there for the past 20 years, the majority of his life. He says the road has continually gotten worse over those two decades, to the point where residents dread having to drive through it on a daily basis.

“It’s a safety concern for a lot of us,” he said. “I know it’s not the biggest road in the town or anything, but people still live here, and it’s still used just as much as any other street.”

The main problem residents have with the street is the potholes, some of which are deep enough that those living in the area simply cannot drive over them without scraping the bottom of their cars against the dirt road. Higdon himself drives up and down the road several times a day, he explained, and his own car has suffered some damage on the front bumper. While he does not directly blame the state of his road for the damage, he noted that he feels certain it was at least a contributing factor.

Council does not completely ignore the street, however, as they use crushed stone to fill in the potholes several times a year, resulting in a newly smoothed out English Hill, clear of any deep potholes. This has been the go-to solution for a number of years.

Higdon feels as though this is only a temporary fix to a long-term problem, however.

“Crushed stone is exactly that – crushed stone. When water gets in between all that, it’ll either make the ground soft again, or freeze up and expand, leaving more potholes for us to deal with until the next round of crushed stone,” he said. “Usually, we’re left with all these potholes longer than we’re left with a smooth road.”

English Hill serves as a home for 12 residents including Higdon. He says there are approximately nine vehicles belonging to these residents that drive across the road on a daily basis. He, alongside some of his neighbours, have expressed their concerns to council via letters, but so far have not received a clear response as to the plans.

“If I could do anything with it, I’d pave the road,” Higdon said. “That seems like the most reasonable way to go about it. We’ve got all these potholes that just keep on coming back – why not pave it and be done with it? I know pavement doesn’t last forever either, but it’ll certainly last longer than the crushed stone they use. I imagine that’d be a lot cheaper in the long run, too.”

As of Friday morning, no different plans for English Hill have been put in place, other than the continuation of the placement of crushed stone, but Higdon says he is still holding out hope.

“A paved road would be perfect, I think. We can pave our own driveways, that’s no problem obviously, but it’d be nice to be able to drive down the road and not worry about beating up your car every morning,” he said.

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