Canso Causeway warning siren turned down

The warning siren at the Canso Causeway is now a bit easier on the eardrums.

PORT HASTINGS: The warning siren at the Canso Causeway was loud enough for Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster to hear at his home in Troy, so he could certainly appreciate the aching eardrums of those living closer to the Port Hastings swing bridge.

Now that The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR) decided to turn down the volume, MacMaster said those in earshot of the bridge should feel much happier.

“I approached transportation to see if they could turn it down, and they were referencing guidelines from the Transportation Association of Canada,” he told The Reporter last week. “I asked them to reconsider, in that those are guidelines, not laws.

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“They looked at it again, and they chose to turn it down.”

The Transportation Association of Canada offers national guidelines and best practices for transportation systems, including the Canso Causeway. However, according to the reading MacMaster did, the power to lower the volume is in the provincial government’s hands. The guidelines have good intentions behind them, MacMaster said, but aren’t necessarily the best solution in every situation.

“When you aren’t living in the area, you sometimes don’t know how much it affects people,” he said.

The Inverness MLA referred to a similar situation with the flashing white strobe lights on the towers for the power lines crossing the Strait of Canso.

“Nova Scotia Power had said they could not change the flashing white strobe lights on their towers. Those lights irritated local residents for over 30 years,” he said. “They recently changed them to a softer red light at night due to public pressure.”

The volume of the Canso Causeway swing bridge alarm was turned down earlier this month recognizing that it only needs to be heard to warn people in the immediate area like pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone near the bridge.