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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
Local News
Fix It: Manholes on Lakeshore Road
Francoise Rothschild damaged a tire on her car while driving down Lakeshore Road, near Firelane 4. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

When Francoise Rothschild was coming home from St. Catharines back in June, she hit one of the raised manholes on Lakeshore Road, near Firelane 4.

It was a sunny day and the manholes couldn’t be properly seen because of the shadows across the road, she said, and there were no signs indicating raised manholes ahead. There were cones in the construction zone but not next to the manholes, she added.

“It barely said it was construction,” Rothschild said.

It cost her $620 to replace the shredded tire. Rothschild questioned why there were no cones or proper signage over the raised manholes. The drivers couldn’t always swerve to avoid the manholes due to the oncoming traffic, she noted.

Niagara Region started the project there to reconstruct Regional Road 87, from Townline Road to Four Mile Creek Road. The first phase of the project started at 1315 Lakeshore Rd., moving towards Konzelmann Estate Winery, and involved installation of the new storm sewer outlet.

The Stevensville-based company, Peters Excavating Inc., was awarded the tender for construction.

Before the road between the winery and Four Mile Creek Road was resurfaced, there were a number of raised manholes spread across the right side of the road.

Perry Quinn, a sales professional at Royal LePage, also damaged his car while driving down Lakeshore Road. The incident happened two weeks ago near Konzelmann Winery which left him with a blown-out tire, a bent rim and another ballooned tire, he said.

“They did circle the manholes covers, which are raised about two inches or so, with orange or red paint but … when I got there, there was little left of the warning paint,” he said in a phone interview.

The running cost for two tires and the rim was about $2,800 but as Quinn had a rim and tire protection as well as Canadian Automobile Association service, he only had to pay $18 for two new tires and a new rim.

Dorothea Enns, an owner of the Enns Battery and Tire on Four Mile Creek Road, said there were about six people who came to the shop with their tires damaged from hitting the manholes. She said she was surprised there would be something “so dangerous left out” and there were “no accidents as a result of that.”

“One person had completely ruined a tire and it was a very expensive tire,” Enns told The Lake Report noting that the repair costs could range, “anywhere from $50 of damage to $1,000 of damage.”

After the incident, Rothschild contacted the region to submit a damage claim. Once the region reviewed her claim, it referred her to the contractor company and its insurer as they’re “obliged to respond to claims of this nature,” said the region’s law clerk.

The contractor’s insurance broker, Masters Insurance Limited, denied Rothschild’s claim due to the lack of “substantiating evidence” which would support her claim. The company has met the requirements for work zones outlined in The Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7 as well as the Ministry Minimum Maintenance Standards, said the company’s spokesperson in an email response to Rothschild’s claim.

“Why even have a claim area on the website if you never, ever approve them, pay them out,” Rothschild said. “There’s no point if they’re always going to deny it like this.”

The regional project’s manager couldn’t be reached for comments by press time Wednesday.

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