West End residents concerned with Highway 540 condition

KAGAWONG—A Billings township councillor says he has been contacted by several constituents in the Billings area who are unhappy with the work that has been done on Highway 540, as conditions are proving to cause a safety hazard for drivers between Kagawong and Gore Bay.

“There has been a number of constituents in Billings and the area to Gore Bay who are concerned about the width of the road, not having bicycle paths, and the lack of a proper edge (shoulder) on the edges of the highway; and the horrendous angular drop off that could cause a vehicle that has to veer a little bit off the main portion of the highway to roll,” Councillor Parker told the Recorder last week.

“This can be seen on certain portions of the road, especially where the new pavement starts,” said Councillor Parker.

“It’s bad,” stated Councillor Parker. “They haven’t made the road level on the shoulders, the width of the road has been reduced and everything is angled off the shoulders (of the highway). You would never see this type of thing in southern Ontario.”

Gordan Rennie, of the Ministry of Transportation, told the Recorder “road safety is a top priority at the Ministry of Transportation. Highway 540 is being constructed to retain the current roadway platform width and consists of 3.5 metre lanes, 1.5 metre shoulders and 0.5 metre shoulder roundings. Paving has recently commenced, but the final shouldering grades, including roundings, have not been completed yet.”

“The completion of the project should address the concerns,” said Mr. Rennie who added, “to ensure proper drainage we have cleaned out highway ditches that were filled in over the years.”