Time and mother nature have both taken their toll on a section of highway near Sackville, an area that has become an increasingly common site for motor vehicle accidents in the past few years.
“It’s an area that is in great need of being redone,” said Claude Williams, Minister of Transportation, last week.
The 8.8-kilometre stretch of road heading westbound from Beech Hill towards the Memramcook exit will be repaired this summer, with the tender for the work expected to go out at the end of this month.
The section of highway, which is aging and deteriorating due to weather-related issues, has become somewhat of a hazard, says Williams, with a reported 45 accidents happening along that stretch from 2007-2011.
“It’s long overdue . . . it needs to be done over,” said Williams.
Fortunately, the collisions that have occurred in that area haven’t resulted in any fatalities but Williams said the condition of the road has led to a number of injuries and damaged vehicles from motorists sliding off the road, particularly in wet or icy conditions.
Over time, he explained the road has deteriorated and cracked and water fills up those fissures when it rains heavy or freezes, creating what he called a “washboard” effect.
“So with the condition of the road, and based on our asset management program, it has been clearly indicated that this maintenance is needed,” said Williams.
The road will be milled (top layers of asphalt pavement removed) and re-paved. Work is anticipated to begin this spring on the project but that will, of course, depend on the weather. If all goes well, Williams said his department hopes to see the project completed by mid-summer.
In the meantime, Tantramar MLA Mike Olscamp warns motorists to slow down along that stretch of highway until it is repaired. He cautioned people to take heed of the signs that were posted on that route last fall to warn people of the ‘slippery when wet’ conditions.
“Please respect the signs and slow down there,” he said.