Unsafe sidewalk

Al Peterson

Dear editor:
I am very concerned about the sidewalk renovations carried out on Portage Avenue.
I am not condemning the sidewalk contractor for the work performed on the sidewalk given the circumstances he was left to work with. As a matter of fact, if not for this contractor, the sidewalk would have had a steeper grade than present.
My concern is the ice and snow build-up, plus the slippery conditions existing in our winter months. Those with mobility problems will be more vulnerable than those without mobility issues but will be subject to unsafe sidewalks just the same.
In addition, people entering stores and buildings now will have to step up, or step down, when entering or leaving, making theses stores less accessible and more dangerous to ice and snow conditions.
Injuries and accidents are just waiting to happen. The sidewalk grade at the corners are steep and will result in further problems, especially in winter.
Where is the due diligence, provided by council, in this project? Is it enough to just give out million-dollar contracts, and accept what will be will be from these contractors?
Why did this happen? Is it because the new road on Portage was dug down too deep and not reinstated to the proper grade, or road elevation?
Who is looking after these million-plus contracts? Is there warranty to correct this problem? If so, why is it not corrected and warranties enforced?
Who monitors the work and what qualifications do they have?
Our subway contract and work was, and is, a disaster. And our Central Avenue road work, in my opinion, was another contract circus (i.e., asphalt that didn’t meet specifications and had to be replaced).
Is it proper to replace this asphalt by raking off only the top half of the present asphalt and then dropping another layer on top of the old asphalt?
How long is the normal warranty on these projects in place, and will be warranty be invoked so the work can be redone and done right?
I hope mayor and council will respond to these issues in the paper so we can understand what they are doing to resolve these major issues and to correct them.
Thank you,
Al Peterson
Fort Frances, Ont.
Editor’s note: An explanation for the slope on the sidewalk along Portage Avenue was provided by Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown during the Oct. 26 council meeting and reported in a front page story of the Oct. 28 edition of the Times.