The McNeil Liberals must ensure motorists who use the Cobequid Pass must have round-the-clock weather-warning signs advising them of treacherous road conditions, says Cumberland County MLAs.
On November 19, 2018, the weather-warning signs used to notify motorists of adverse weather or accidents stopped working, leaving several motorists stranded on the toll highway.
Cumberland South MLA Tory Rushton, says issues with the weather-warning signs isn’t a new problem, but it has continuously plagued the people of Cumberland County for years.
“We’re talking about 25 kilometers of road with no exits if there is bad weather or a car accident,” says Rushton. “The longer these warning signs are out of commission, the higher the risk of people getting hurt this winter.”
PC critic for the Emergency Measures Office and Cumberland North MLA, Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says Minister Lloyd Hines has failed in his duty as Minister for Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal by allowing this to continue for so long.
“We knew there was a problem with the signs. We know what the solution is. This issue falls directly at the feet of Minister Hines because he failed to take the steps to fix it,” says Smith-McCrossin. “These roads are very dangerous in the winter season- it is beyond troubling to think Minister Hines isn’t rushing to mitigate these issues as soon as humanly possible.”
Repairs to the weather-warning signs have been estimated to cost approximately $150,000. Rushton says that is a small price to pay to ensure the safety and well-being of motorists.
“These signs are the bare minimum we need to ensure the safety of everyone who uses this stretch of highway,” says Rushton. “There is no excuse why these issues aren’t getting addressed. When it comes to people’s lives, we can all agree this is worth every penny.”
Smith-McCrossin and Rushton believe the Minister for TIR and EMO can begin to restore confidence in the road’s safety by convening a meeting with MLAs, municipal officials and stakeholders to review a response plan that would get motorists off the highway in a safe and timely manner.
“This pass generates 22 million in gross revenues for the province and Minister Hines has said again and again how important the Cobequid Pass is for the province,” says Smith-McCrossin. “Yet, the blank signs on the Pass only serve as a billboard to government failure. He needs to get to work and have these signs fixed before winter.”