Phipps Street reconstruction work contractors need more consideration for residents

Dear Editor:

Living within a construction zone adds an element of stress to one’s life. Your quality of life diminishes slightly, for example, through constant noise and air pollution, blocked access, precarious walking conditions, etc.

After months and months it begins to wear on you. The annoyance could be forgiven however, if there had been reasonable consideration paid to those who are living with the dust, the noise, the shaking and the fist-sized pieces of gravel piled everywhere.

A company doing a public works project must consider the day-to-day impact of that work on the lives of the public taxpayers who are, in fact, funding such projects.

The goal of the company should be to mitigate the added irritants, rather than aggravate them.

The construction company and their partners working on this Gore Bay project don’t seem to have many  of these considerations. We’ve had temporary pipes laid three to four inches off the ground across our apartment building entrance—an obvious tripping hazard. Access to business’ loading doors blocked by the temporary pipes without any protective covers put over them.

I’ve seen temporary pipes laid across a driveway blocking garage access for a summer resident who could not get his boat put away after arriving here on the weekend. They are quick to fix the problem when it is pointed out to them, unless of course you arrive on the weekend, but it should not have to fall on the residents to point out these obvious hazards and access disruptions. The company should see it, anticipate it and take the time to fix it before it even becomes an issue for the residents.

I’ve seen a public road with access to a parking lot dug up at the beginning of a week day morning effectively blocking access for an entire day, without any notice given to those who use that road or parking lot; and that parking lot includes the only accessibility parking and entrance to a government building which they are mandated to provide under the law. That dig effectively cut off that access and that work could have easily been done on a Saturday.

We’ve lived through over-night work from 5 pm to 7 am with no notice given to residents who live directly above and around the work.

I have pictures of a sidewalk leading to a home with an accessibility ramp. It is obvious to anyone with eyes that there is an accessibility issue for that resident. So what’s at the end of her walkway? A three to four inch drop to the road.

Across the road from that, there is a driveway that ends with a foot drop to the road, which has been like that for weeks.

I hope this kind of “get the job done whatever it takes” and “dig first ask permission later” kind of attitude is used when measuring this company’s suitability for the next public works job tendered by the town of Gore Bay. If it appears as if I’m a bit exacerbated, it is likely because I wrote this letter while a dump truck sat idling, unmoved, directly beneath my bedroom window for 77 minutes, beginning at 7 am.

Disclaimer: I absolutely support the Phipps Street reconstruction project. Any public works project to modernize and replace any of our old and crumbling infrastructure is welcomed and encouraged.

Drew Patterson
Gore Bay