‘This road is a constant headache’: council asks administration for report on rebuilding Cloverdale Road

Prince Albert City Hall/Daily Herald File Photo

Prince Albert City Council has taken the first step towards rebuilding Cloverdale Road, although the time for when the work will be completed is undetermined.

Council voted 8-1 in favour of a motion from Mayor Greg Dionne calling for a report outlining plans and costs for rebuilding Cloverdale, either during the 2023 work year, or in 2024.

Dionne said he’d like to have the work done as quickly as possible, but only if there’s room for it in this year’s budget.

“I don’t want this added to our budget,” Dionne told council. “I want it developed and repaired within the budget that public works has for road repairs.”

Dionne said he’s hear complaints about Cloverdale road for nearly 20 years, but those complaints have grown in the last two or three. Drivers are often forced to leave the road and drive in the ditch, especially following rainstorms which frequently wash away large portions of it.

Dionne said the city is spending so much on repairs, it would just be cheaper to rebuild.

“This road is a constant headache,” Dionne said. “As soon as it rains, we’ve got to send a grader north of the river. If you look at the cost of sending a grader all these times, we would have been better off to fix the road, so I’d like to have a permanent solution to fix the roads. Put actually a base down so it’s actually a real road and not a sand trail.”

Cloverdale Road runs north out of Hwy 55 and continues past the Pulp Haul Road before intersecting with Cloarec Road. The City would only be responsible for rebuilding the sections inside City limits, while the rest is maintained by the RM of Buckland.

 Ward 2 Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp represents the area where Cloverdale sits. She said it’s a constant source of complaints.

“I think the Mayor is probably getting similar phone calls as I receive from folks who live out and use Cloverdale Road to get to their homes,” Lennox-Zepp said during Monday’s meeting. “It does seem to be constant. We do seem to be needing to grade it very, very frequently.”

Lennox-Zepp said residents often invite council members to drive the road and see if it’s serviceable. She told council it’s often not.

Cloverdale Road has no major City services on it, although Dionne said the RM of Buckland has some properties attached to the road.

Coun. Charlene Miller was the only Prince Albert elected official to vote against the project. Miller said she would consider supporting the rebuild if it’s included in next year’s budget, but wouldn’t do so as long as there was a possibility it would get fixed this year.

“We don’t even know the traffic counts on there,” Miller said in a phone interview with the Herald. “How many people even use it? We really want to repair a road that quite a few people are using.”

Miller said the City has already chosen which roads to fix and won’t have any leftover funds for other projects. She also said that local road improvements should be funded by local residents.

“If they want to pave that road, then the people who live out there must pay for it,” she said.

The City of Prince Albert conducted a traffic survey in 2016 measuring traffic volumes, speeds, and other issues. Those numbers were used in the City’s 2017 Transportation Master Plan. The Master Plan does not include any information about traffic on Cloverdale Road.