© Photo special to The Guardian
Main Street, Alberton, P.E.I.
ALBERTON — Several Alberton businesses are bringing their concerns over an Alberton Town Council decision to replace the cobblestone walkway along Main Street with poured concrete to this week’s town meeting.
The town's maintenance crew started ripping out the bricks last week and filling the void with concrete.
Alberton Business Association president Geoffrey Irving said the association contacted the town last week requesting the work be stopped and the project reconsidered.
At that point only the first section of cobblestone, at the northern end of the street, had been shifted to concrete. Since then, two more sections, now covering about one-third of the total distance, have been poured.
Alberton Mayor Michael Murphy stressed that town council voted 5-1 last month to have the bricks taken out. He said they will ultimately be used for other projects in town. When asked where they will be used, he said that will be left up to council.
The mayor defended his council's decision, noting the cobblestone was uneven and posed a safety concern.
"I'd sooner have a flat surface," he said, indicating there was potential for pedestrians to trip.
"It's just a commonsense thing. Why would you want to put yourself in for a civil suit?"
Murphy said it was his understanding that the town's previous maintenance man had worked on the cobblestone several times but there continued to be dips in it.
The cobblestone, along the outer edge of the sidewalk on the west side of Main Street, was installed in 2004 as part of a Streetscapes project.
Irving said the businesses are also disappointed the town neither consulted them about the cobblestone nor alerted them the work was about to start.
He plans to raise that concern to council as well.
"It's just that disconnect between the two, which is frustrating," said Irving.