Antigonish County wants quick action on dangerous intersection

ANTIGONISH: Municipal council is calling on local MLAs to help fix a dangerous intersection.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting of council for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, elected members discussed their frustrations with the lack of movement on the Beech Hill Road-Trunk 4 intersection.

Council has been asking the province since 2017 for solutions to the number of collisions and near misses at the busy spot. Between May, 2017 and now, police reported 19 collisions, including a fatality earlier this month and another on December 16, hours after council met with representatives from the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

In an emergency meeting held December 12, the county passed a motion to suggest a number of temporary fixes for the intersection, including adding temporary lights, rumble strips, and decreasing the speed limit.

“We conveyed that message to some of the officials with TIR [on December 16] and we left the meeting feeling pretty confident that our message was being heard,” said McCarron. “To get an e-mail back to indicate that they’re prepared to possibly reduce the speed zones and include rumble strips, but maybe not until into the new year, this goes completely against what council’s wishes were.

“We don’t understand the resistance from DTIR to putting signal lights at that intersection,” he added. “We’re requesting a meeting with the minister [Guysborough Eastern Shore Tracadie MLA Lloyd Hines] and our local MLA Randy Delorey because council is very upset.”

McCarron said the department is also looking to add signage at the Beech Hill stop signs reading “through traffic does not stop,” which McCarron and a number of councillors said will add to the confusion at the intersection. The warden also noted Antigonish RCMP posted an officer at the intersection on Sunday who dispensed eight tickets for rolling through the stop sign.

“We want resolution to it,” said the warden. “We want the minister to step in and impress upon his officials the need to put signalized lighting at that intersection. We’ve had one fatality and three accidents in less than two weeks. That’s unacceptable and it’s only going to get worse.”