The following is the text forwarded to the Town and the Town's consultant in this study. Following are photos (Courtesy: Ken Parsons) that were distributed at the public meeting on Wednesday June 22:
The LWRA is appalled to find that North Waseosa Lake Road does not even appear on the list within the study brief. N. Waseosa Lake Road is the sole access to much of Melissa, serving as the only artery for hundreds of year-round homes, seasonal cottages and a quarry operated by Green's Haulage. The existing road, consisting of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of tar-and-chip with narrow to non-existent shoulders, fails to meet even the minimum suburban and cottage road construction standards established by the Town of Huntsville. Yet this road is already carrying over 50 dump trucks per day, some of them tandem rigs with a proposal for additional operations that could see up to another 40 trucks per day added to that total. The truck route extends as far as Jessop Lane, where the trucks then follow that steep and winding dirt road around past several more homes, across Jessop Creek and on to the quarry entrance.
While it is important - perhaps vital -- to the economic health of this town to encourage business ventures such as this, it is equally important to the tourism sector and the social well-being of area residents to ensure that the road is adequate to the task. As the LWRA has pointed out several times in the past, the roads are narrow and winding. The trucks are full size multiple-axle trucks carrying many tonnes of material and typically 120 inches (>3 meters) wide, mirror to mirror. Two trucks can barely pass on a straight section, leaving no room for pedestrians or cyclists. The trucks are forced onto the shoulder when they meet even a small car in one of the many tight curves. This is a residential area, with more houses being built almost every year. People walk their dogs and children ride their bicycles along this road too. We are also concerned about the potential environmental impact when the deteriorating culvert over Jessop's Creek finally collapses.
We realize that roads are expensive and cannot be built overnight. In the event that upgrading North Waseosa Lake Road and Jessop Lane to a standard suitable for heavy truck traffic is deemed too expensive, we have identified a shorter, straight, cheaper option in extending Stahl's Road over the existing road allowance. We held preliminary talks with Mr. Tim Green (proprietor of the quarry) regarding relocating the quarry entrance to this road if it was extended to his property. Mr. Green is even amenable to assisting the Town with some of the road construction to extend the road. There are a few residences along this route that would likely be impacted by the increased traffic, however that would be balanced by the access gained by other property owners in the area where no road currently exists.
We have been raising the matter of this road with various councils since at least 2006. We'd like to see at least some planning for this project start to take shape. We are told that to date no-one from Town Staff has had even preliminary discussions regarding the Stahls Road option with Mr Green. It has come to our attention that despite our warnings, through its inaction and by allowing the continual development of new homes and expansion of the quarry operations, the Town may have assumed a legal liability in the event of a serious accident.
Space required by single dump truck:
Tandem dump truck negotiating curve in the road:
Close-up of tandem, showing necessity of lifting axle to make curve
Tandem truck swinging wide to make turn at Jessop Lane. Again, the driver had to lift axles in order to make the turns:
Two ordinary-sized vehicles making room to pass:
Tire tracks on shoulder where a dump truck had to use the shoulder to clear an on-coming vehicle:
Some sections of the road have no shoulders whatsoever:
NOTE: A report on the Public Meeting is available at: road_needs_study_public_meeting_report