GLENBURNIE-BIRCHY HEAD-SHOAL BROOK — Town representatives say they're still waiting for an answer from the Department of Highways as to when a culvert project will be completed in the area.
Started last year, an aging bridge on route 431 through Glenburnie-Birchy Head-Shoal Brook is currently being replaced with a roadway over a culvert.
But the project has fallen behind schedule and representatives are asking when the bridge will be finished and the construction mess will be cleaned up.
Currently the road over the temporary bridge is mainly gravel, with a traffic light set at either side to control traffic.
Workers built a culvert under the bridge to control the flow of water between the brook below and Bonne Bay, which town officials wondered was necessary.
Town deputy Mayor Jim Bingle said the Department of Highways has not been returning the town's calls about the project.
"They won't even have a meeting with the town," said Bingle.
"We've tried several times to meet with the Department of Highways and they won't even meet with us, they're doing their own thing."
Bingle said the workers themselves are doing a good job but he would like to the work completed at a faster rate.
Workers had to build a turn over the culvert below and St Barbe MHA Jim Bennett said he wonders if an engineering mistake may have happened.
"They had to put a turn in the road over the bridge to accommodate the culvert but why they wouldn't straighten it all out at the same time is beyond me," said Bennett, who had just left the construction site minutes before.
"I think someone screwed up and no one wants to admit it."
He said the bridge is in a tidal area and he thinks they may have used measurements of low tide rather than high.
Bennett said he has written a letter about the matter to the Department of Highways.
"The department says they have to rely on their engineers," he said.
"But if it were me I think I'd have got a second opinion."
Further complicating the matter, the tunnel is about a metre below sea level and is in danger of flooding nearby properties in inclement weather, which is bound to hit the area in the fall and winter.
Bingle said recently that flooding almost happened last December when a sever rainstorm hit the area and caused a blockage in the tunnel.
It caused water to back up almost to the roadway.