BROOKDALE – It took a while but it’s finally happening: the culvert in Brookdale on the Church Street extension is being fixed.
Charles Hurley, whose property runs along the creek where the culvert is situated, said he’s had flooding every spring for at least the last five years.
“That’s a 35-foot bank,” he said, referring to the height of the road from the bottom of the stream.
Much of that depth has been filled with water in the worst of the floods, he claimed. And with no guardrail, the potential for a vehicle leaving the road and submerging in a swollen, icy basin was there. Hurley could think of three occasions when vehicles left the road at the spot, the most recent just last week.
That was then, though, and this is now. The road is closed for construction. Heavy equipment is on the site, and a row of pre-poured concrete tunnel sections sit on the asphalt, ready to be placed.
Buffy White, the department of transportation’s area manager, said the work should be done by the end of the month, although delays are possible. The tender, which was won by Brycon Construction of Dartmouth, was worth $200,000, and the manager said her worst case for the project, all in, shouldn’t exceed $225,000.
The survey, design and sizing for the culvert were all completed locally by a DOT engineer. An application also had to be completed with Fisheries and Oceans to protect fish that use the waterway.
“It’s a fairly detailed process,” said White.
The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Maurice Smith, committed in Dec. to seeing the culvert built this winter.
Brian Skabar, North Cumberland’s MLA, said it’s not the role of politicians to tell professional staff (who do a good job, he said) how to proceed but, after seeing copies of correspondence, personally inspecting the site and other considerations, including seeing photos of flooding – “That did underscore the necessity…” – the culvert project needed to be a priority.
Hurley was tipped off last week that the repair was coming soon.
“They put up the signs and covered them with black garbage bags,” he said.
The homeowner faces a $10,000 septic bed repair, but any anger he felt about the situation is in the past.
“We don’t feel any animosity,” he said. “We’re so glad to get it done…we’re good now.”