It's a bumpy ride in North York

For years Steeles Avenue was considered one of the worst roads in Ontario, now it's one of the smoothest routes

North York motorists may be in for a smoother ride on a few major routes but the borough is still home to some of the bumpiest roads in the province.

The Canadian Automobile Association recently released their annual list of the worst roads in Ontario as voted on by its members.

Now in its eighth year, the list began as a way for the association to let their members determine which roadways were most in need of work and to place pressure on local governments to fix them.

For years, a stretch of Steeles Avenue in North York was consistently at the top of the list for worst roads in Ontario.

Not anymore.

After approximately $15 million in road resurfacing, Steeles Avenue topped the list of best roads in the province for 2010.

“We took off the top coat of the asphalt of the road and we put in a new layer,” said Joe Condarcuri, manager for transportation services for the City of Toronto.

“The treatment is very effective because it’s quick, it’s inexpensive, the only problem is instead of coming back in 20-25 years we may have to come back in 10-15 years. But it did what it needed to do for now.”

The eastern-most part of Steeles Avenue, bordering Pickering, has yet to be repaired which led that section of the road to earn an eighth place showing on the worst roads list. A couple of other prominent North York thoroughfares found their way onto that list as well.

Bayview Avenue was ranked as the 17th worst road in the province, while Finch Avenue was named Ontario’s fourth worst road and the second worst road in Toronto.

North York-based Automotive shop manager Mitchell Beck is well aware of the problems facing drivers who travel along Finch.

“It’s terrible,” said Beck, who runs Beck Automotive on Finch between Bayview and Leslie. “They’ve patched it up in a few spots but they’ve just patched, they haven’t actually done much else.”

Though he can’t say for certain where they incurred the damage, Beck regularly sees cars come into his shop with damage caused by poor road conditions. His shop also offers pick-up and drop-off services which can be understandably troublesome since it is located at the intersection of two roads that grace the worst road list.

“It certainly doesn’t help having bad roads and the more you drive on them … it’s just wear and tear, especially the suspension parts.

If you hit a really deep pothole you actually can damage the suspension right away,” Beck said.

City officials say they are aware of the problems.

“Finch is bad, we know,” Condarcuri said.

According to Condarcuri, the section of Finch Avenue from Leslie Street to Don Mills Road should be resurfaced before the new year.

However, repairs to Bayview Avenue are not scheduled to be completed until 2013. The city says it is waiting for water and gas companies to finish their own work in those areas before they go in and resurface the roads.

“As soon as they finish we’ll start in and do the roads,” Condarcuri said. “There’s really no point in doing the roads now if it’s still going to be cut up by others. It’s really a coordination issue.”


About this article:

By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Nov 12 2010 1:04 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto
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