For the very first time, Whirlpool Road in Niagara Falls has earned the title of Niagara’s Worst Road, according to voters in CAA’s 17thannual Worst Roads campaign.
After a one-year hiatus, Worst Roads returned in 2021 and ran from March 23rd to April 18th. Following suit with previous campaign years, potholes and crumbling pavement was once again the number one reported road issue, with over seventy-five percent of the total voters identifying it as the reason for selecting a road.
“Residents of Niagara have been exploring their communities in different ways because of the pandemic,” said Peter Van Hezewyk, CAA Niagara’s President and CEO. “This year, we’ve seen a rise in the percentage of votes from non-motorists, with more than half of the voters in the campaign identifying as a cyclist or pedestrian. Many expressed concerns about a lack of sidewalk and cycling infrastructure.”
Making repeat appearances on this year’s list are Ontario Street in St. Catharines, which was named Niagara’s second Worst Road for 2021 after falling off the top five list in 2019; Drummond Road in Niagara Falls, which has made it into the top five Worst Roads for the last six years, having taken the first place slot in 2018 and second place in 2019; and Saint David’s Road in Thorold, which took third place in 2019.
Niagara’s Top Five Worst Roads for 2021 are:
- Whirlpool Road, Niagara Falls
- Ontario Street, St. Catharines
- Willoughby Drive, Niagara Falls
- Drummond Road, Niagara Falls
- Saint David’s Road, Thorold
Ontario’s Top Five Worst Roads for 2021 are:
- Victoria Road, Prince Edward
- Carling Avenue, Ottawa
- Barton Street East, Hamilton
- County Road 49, Prince Edward
- Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto
With three of the region’s top five roads located in one city, CAA Niagara connected with the City of Niagara Falls to discuss the current status of Whirlpool Road, Willoughby Drive and Drummond Road.
According to the City, all three of these roads are already slated for repair. On Whirlpool Road, the construction of a recreational trail crossing over the hydro canal and leading to the intersection at the Niagara River Parkway is currently underway, with a roundabout at the intersection planned for construction in the next few years. There are also plans underway to reconstruct Whirlpool Road from the hydro canal to Stanley Avenue, including the provision of bike lanes. Meanwhile, the City will conduct a full road reconstruction for Willoughby Drive between Main Street and Weinbrenner Road over a two-year period, including the replacement of the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and watermain. Both of these projects are beginning design work in 2021 for future construction.
The long-running Worst Roads nomination, Drummond Road, will undergo an extensive multi-year reconstruction project between Thorold Stone Road and Morrison Street, including the replacement of the sidewalk, curb and gutter, as well as watermain and sewer replacement, and the addition of a new storm sewer and bike lanes. Additionally, repair work will be conducted on Gallinger Street and Portage Road between Thorold Stone Road and Althea Street. There are also future plans for the reconstruction of Drummond Road from McLeod Road heading south. The first phase of construction on Drummond Road is slated to begin this summer.
The City also runs an ongoing maintenance program with a team of road patrollers identifying potholes year-round and logging them for repair. As a part of this program, the City encourages residents to help in identifying potholes by submitting a request for repair through its online form on niagarafalls.ca, which is directly linked to a work order system.
As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts, CAA will also be presenting the 2021 Worst Roads results to additional local and provincial government officials and discussing issues related to road infrastructure.
ABOUT CAA NIAGARA
Founded in 1911 as the St. Catharines Automobile Club with just 16 members, CAA Niagara has grown to more than 139,000 members with five Niagara locations; St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold and Grimsby. A not-for-profit membership organization, CAA Niagara, provides emergency road services, travel, insurance and member rewards.