MIDDLETON, N.B. – Area residents who have faced significant detours every day to work and school for the past month are breathing a sigh of relief now that their commutes just got much shorter.
The section of Route 106 in Middleton, the main arterial route between the villages of Dorchester and Memramcook, was finally re-opened to traffic last week after more than a month of being closed down due to flooding.
“It’s good news that they got that dried up to the extent they could re-open the road,” said Tantramar MLA Mike Olscamp.
The road has been shut off to traffic since early April, when the spring melt and heavy rains combined with a collapsed culvert along the CN rail line, caused floodwaters to overtop the road and swamp the fields.
With last week’s drier weather and CN returning with their pumps earlier in the week, however, the water had receded enough to allow the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI) the chance to get out there last Wednesday and inspect the road and deem it safe for vehicular traffic. DTI will conduct some minor shoulder repairs later this summer but is now awaiting CN to replace their damaged culvert.
Olscmap said he will be meeting with CN representatives this week to discuss a timeline for the culvert project, which will ensure a longer-term, permanent fix for the flooding issue in that area.
“Meeting with CN should give me a better idea of where they’re going to go and what their schedule is,” he said.
CN will be installing a series of new, larger pipes under the rail bed to better handle the volume of water that continues to mount each year as a result of more extreme weather events. Olscamp said the preliminary work has been completed, including obtaining the environmental permits and drawing up an engineering plan for the project.
“I’m going to push really hard to make sure they get at that ASAP,” he said.