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Dirt road conditions unacceptable this year, among worst ever: residents

The view of Sissiboo Road out D’Eon’s windshield before the grater came May 19. Some potholes were so deep entire households were stranded and unable to use their vehicles. One elderly couple relied on their neighbour with a Jeep who got groceries for them.
The view of Sissiboo Road out D’Eon’s windshield before the grater came May 19. Some potholes were so deep entire households were stranded and unable to use their vehicles. One elderly couple relied on their neighbour with a Jeep who got groceries for them.

DIGBY, NS – Sissiboo Road resident Darlene D’Eon has had it with dirt road conditions in Digby.

She says this year is among the worst she’s ever seen for potholes and that the province didn’t grade the road once until May 19.

“I’m told if I call the Department Of Highways and complain they'll be along much sooner. Really? Is that really necessary?” she asks in a Facebook post.

A friend of D’Eon’s even helped an older couple who were stranded by driving his Jeep to town and getting their groceries for them.

D’Eon is not the only frustrated person. Her post with photos of road conditions on Facebook has drawn many comments from people with similar frustrations.

Janice Thibault lives on little French Rd., roughly three kilometres from Sissiboo Rd.

She says her road went without grading until May 29 and that the conditions are definitely the worst she’s ever seen.

“There was no way to get around the potholes which meant we all had to drive through them. This has been an issue since the snow first melted,” she says.

Sissiboo Road after the grater was through. Piles of dirt were left, creating another issue on the road. Brenda Small says the grater left nearly identical issues on Moody Lane.

On a scale from one to ten – one being optimal conditions, ten being the worst – she says French Road is normally a three. This year, she says it’s an eight.

She says the road ruins people’s cars and prevents proper access and that even when it’s graded, the rain brings back the potholes.

It wasn’t an uncommon sight this spring to see parents four-wheeling their kids to their bus stops, she says.

“They return once the rain hits, which means the grading isn’t being done with enough dirt or gravel,” she says.

Brenda Small lives on Moody Lane, another dirt road, in Weymouth North.

While her road was graded around three weeks ago, she says it wasn’t properly done.

“It was a shabby mess and a crap job – the grading filled the ditches and left rocks behind. What’s going to happen if it rains? Where the water go?” she asks.

Sissiboo Road one week after the grater was through. Janice Thibault says the rain also undoes anything accomplished by the grater on her road, French Road, because they don't use enough dirt or gravel.

Small pays more taxes because she lives near the village and says she’s mad because she feels its money wasted.

“We pay extra for being within 5 kms of a fire department. But if they can’t get to us, what’s the point? Give me my money back,” she says.

Small rates normal conditions on Moody Lane from a two to three, and current conditions a nine.

She also worries rough road conditions could keep emergency vehicles from having direct access to her house and others.

“If we needed a firetruck or ambulance, God forbid. They just couldn’t get in here,” she says.

“People pay taxes expecting basic services to be met. Our roads are part of that and our needs are definitely not being met.”

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