CORNER BROOK — People in the Conche area want to see improvements to roads in and around their community.
Scott Carroll said he cannot understand why Route 434, from Roddickton to Conche, is not paved.
"It's 2012," he said. "They're paving other people's communities and we're here with a gravel road."
As a nurse commuting each day to Roddickton, and sometimes St. Anthony, Carroll is fearful of getting flat tires on the dirt road.
He has already gotten cracks in his windshield, and said it is pointless to buy a new car because of the risk of damage.
Carroll said many people in the community experience similar woes.
"The road to Roddickton is always a disgrace," he said. (The roads) has always been an obstacle for us commuters in the community."
There was some improvement to the road in 2007, when the province initiated a pilot project to pave provincial roads in the area with a chip sealing procedure, said town clerk, Alice Flynn.
This paving material is a mixture that is suppose to be more durable than some other types of pavement.
Flynn said the government paved five, of approximately 26 kilometres from Conche to Roddickton.
The municipality paid 25 per cent of the cost for the province extended the project to cover four kilometres of municipal roads, as well.
The chip seal pavement was suppose to have a decade guarantee, Flynn said, but roads are now filled with potholes and have been since the year after it was laid.
"We're getting to the point where we're just putting gravel in (the potholes)," Flynn said.
She said the municipality asked government to reimburse over $114,000 it cost the town to pave that four km, but the province will only provide quick-patch material for pothole repairs.
Since the town paid this percentage, under the municipal capital works program, the ratio has been changed so that municipalities only pay 10 percent of such costs.
This summer government has repaved the five kilometres of provincial roads it did with chip seal in 2007, but did not extend the pavement further than that piece.
"We thought we'd get at least another few kilometres," Flynn said, of the roadway that turns from pavement to gravel.
Government needs clear plan
The area's MHA, Christopher Mitchelmore, said government needs to step in and reclaim costs that the town spent on the faulty paving program.
Mitchelmore, NDP member for The Straits - White Bay North, said the Conservative government needs a provincial transportation plan like their Nova Scotia counterparts.
The Nova Scotia NDP government released a 2012-13 five-year highway improvement plan, including paving, construction and other maintenance to the province's roadways.
The plan outlines capital breakdown costs from three levels of government, and a schedule of approved projects for the next five years.
Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Transportation and Works has a 2011-14 strategic plan on its website, but it is vague in comparison to Nova Scotia's plans.
This province is a patchwork of projects, Mitchelmore said, that can been seen easily with bridge and ferry services.
"(Government) hasn't shown anyone that they have a plan beyond the day-by-day," he said. "They have strategies, but we dont see that clear plan."
Nearby Roddickton mayor, Ray Norman, said he had no problem getting government roads paved near his community.
Roddickton did not get any municipal roads paved through the government's chip seal program, but the provincial road running through town to neighbouring Englee was paved under the program.
After returning from this summer's holidays, Norman said the government paved over the pothole-filled chip seal stretch. He said the work was suppose to be done last year, but he's not complaining.
"What they've done this year is make quite a difference to our roads," he said.
Norman said communication with minister Thomas Hedderson and government officials has been very open, and it seems the province listen to his municipality's road needs.
"I would like to see (all the roads) done at the same time," he said. "But you need money to do it all."
The department of Transportation and Works was unable to be reached due to the Orangeman's Day holiday on Monday.