April 30, 2014 4:41 pm

Crumbling Winnipeg street gets quick fix after buses detoured

WINNIPEG – One of Winnipeg’s crumbling roads was considered so impassable Wednesday that transit buses were detoured around it for a couple of hours.

Winnipeg Transit announced the detour on its Twitter feed at 10:06 a.m. Wednesday:

Route 26 buses were diverted away from that block, but regular traffic continued to use the street. Drivers slowly manoeuvred their cars down the middle of the cratered street to avoid the worst areas near the curbs. “It’s approaching the surface of the moon right now — it’s a little excessive here,” said one driver.

A car drives through a pothole on Berry Street, which was closed to buses because of the poor road condition.

Ashley Carter/Global News

Eventually a city worker appeared in a pickup truck and used a circular saw to make a few cuts in one part of the road. A city spokesperson said the work was done to remove a piece of exposed rebar. As soon as the sawing finished, a Winnipeg Transit supervisor removed the detour notes from bus signs. At 12:51 p.m., Transit tweeted that the detour was over, and buses resumed running down the crumbling stretch of road.

A city spokesperson told Global News buses were given the go-ahead to drive back down Berry Street because the road had been apparently repaired.

City worker saws section on Berry St.

Ashley Carter/Global News

Mayor Sam Katz was told about the situations Wednesday.

“We’ve got to start fixing them but in the meantime, what we are doing are short-term fixes,” he said. “I believe what we have to do is reconstruct and rehabilitate those streets, then go into maintenance.”

Berry Street between Sargent and Wellington avenues is scheduled for reconstruction in 2015, a city official said in an email.

“The road has reached the end of its service life and is in poor condition,” the email said.

On Tuesday, the city announced a $48-million investment in infrastructure, roads and back lanes this year.

Later Wednesday, traffic continued to treat the stretch of Berry Street as a one-lane road because the potholes on either side of the street are so bad.

“That was a lot of navigation to get around those holes for sure,” said a driver.

“It’s horrible. I can’t believe how neglected this street is — it’s crazy,” said another driver.

“They have to figure out a way to put a road down so that it doesn’t crumble with a little bit of frost and water,” said another frustrated driver.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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