Irish Headline standoff continues

WINCHESTER – There are 40 residents along Irish Headline Road who aren’t prepared to give up the fight when it comes to taking their municipalities to task about the throughway’s condition.

Irish Headline Road residents aren’t holding back with their displeasure for the state of the throughway, a boundary between North and South Dundas, that was rehabilitated last year.

It’s a battle that has been simmering for some time as finger pointing between Township of North Dundas and Municipality of South Dundas council members has produced little results.

The road was repaired last year after heavy use during construction of EDP Renewables’ South Branch Wind Farm in the Brinston area. An agreement was struck, and EDP was tasked with footing the bill for repair costs associated with the heavy truck traffic.

Although, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

Earlier this year, South Dundas submitted a directive calling for a joint municipal solution to repair the surface with a proper crown, remove the berm on the shoulder, and investigate further drainage and ditching needs.

An engineer’s report tabled in the southern township also called for a single surface treatment for the roadway, whose poor condition has drawn the ire of residents.

North Dundas disputes the findings, however.

Public works director Dan Belleau reported in March that the culverts were inspected, and no issue was found. As well, the double surface treatment completed has improved the overall road condition, while the shoulders of the road will be trimmed to allow runoff from the road to flow into the ditches.

But the roadway itself requires no further attention, Belleau added.

A petition recently submitted to North Dundas staff, as well as South Dundas administration, puts both governments directly in the crosshairs.

“We realize the money has been spent, but this was wasted as it did not address the problems of Irish Headline Road,” resident Dale Keyes said. “Now we need to start over, and do the job properly.”

In the submission, Keyes and his neighbours had laid out a series of requests, including digging down the edge of the road and berm to eliminate pooling of water, replacing several culverts, grinding up the old surface treatment to clear holes and depressions in the centre of the roadway, and adding crown and cross so water runs to the edge of the road and into the ditch.

“We feel we have not been treated fairly,” Keyes said. “We were originally told our road would be fixed to a satisfactory standard… This is a matter of principle [that] neither council has lived up to doing what is right for Irish Headline residents.”

At North Dundas’ Tues., May 23 council meeting, however, Mayor Eric Duncan again supported Belleau’s assessment of the road, and noted the municipal will do nothing more than transfer half the cost of the proposed maintenance.

“We’ve got a game plan for the shoulder, and we are monitoring the road,” he said. “That’s all.”