What are some of the worst roads you’ve encountered?

by Adam Ledlow, Assistant Editor

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Cold winters, hot summers and a whole lot of traffic each do their part to mangle Canadian roads year after year. Since 2003, in an effort to single out some of Ontario’s nastiest bits of municipal roadway, the Municipal Road Coalition has asked the public to submit their choice for Ontario’s Worst Road. Criteria to determine the worst road includes surface condition, congestion and other safety issues. More than 86% of roads nominated have since received improvements according to the program’s organizers. Though the study focuses exclusively on municipal roads in Ontario, Truck News stopped by the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to see what drivers would select as the worst road they’ve ever encountered whether in Ontario or not.


Andre Guilvault, a company driver with JR Richard in Montreal, Que. says there are many bad roads in Quebec, though he only usually drives down Hwy. 401 between Montreal and Toronto. But if he had to choose, Hwy. 20 in Montreal would top his list of rugged roads.

“They are working on it right now, so maybe soon it will be better,” said the driver of 15 years.


Russell Lochridge, a driver with J.B. Hunt Transportation Services out of Lowell, Arkansas, says that Hwy. 401 coming out of Windsor is his least favourite stretch of highway.

“When you get on the Interstate, it’s pretty rough through there,” says the Texas native. “We could stand more maintenance from both sides of the border. There needs to be more work done on the roads, because some of these loads are real fragile, some of them shift really easily and all it takes is the wrong vibration. The load I hauled in this morning was 38 drums, they were rocked pretty good. I expected them to be all over the truck because of the rough roads between Texas and Cobourg, Ont.”


Glen MacDonald, company driver with Scott Woods Transport in Maple, Ont., says he doesn’t have to venture too far from home into order to encounter a bad road.

“Our home base is on Keele Street (from Major MacKenzie to King Road) and it’s pretty rough. Since I started there in ’93 it gets worse and worse every year,” MacDonald says. “It’s a good way to test our loads (for stability) though.”

“I understand they’re supposed to be resurfacing Keele Street soon. I’ve never had any damage (because of the road) but my chain has come loose and I had to stop and re-secure the load. It just means extra work for me.”


Lee Jones, an owner/operator with GMP Truck & Trailer Leasing out of Etobicoke, Ont., has a few choices for his worst roads list. Highway 11, north of North Bay, Ont. has a “quite a bumpy five-kilometre stretch” though in general he finds it very rough. He also says Hwy. 17, west of Sudbury, Ont., can be a rough patch of road, complete with a slew of hills that can be hard to maneuver when carrying a full load.

“Some of the roads in Toronto too, I can’t name them all,” he says. “There’s a lot of potholes in Toronto in the spring and when you hit them with your drive axle, boom! I think I might have broken an axle once or a leaf spring because of potholes.”

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