Transportation minister answers residents’ concerns over local road

ANTIGONISH: Concerns over the state of Old Maryvale Road have been heard by Minister of Transportation and Active Transit Lloyd Hines, but nothing is scheduled to be done about it.

During Antigonish County’s regular monthly council meeting on July 14, which has once again opened to the public in a limited capacity, councillors heard a response from the minister, who is also the MLA for Guysborough-Tracadie.

Hines advised he would pass along the concern to the department’s local area manager and would advise him of council’s letter; he also highlighted the number of unpaved roads in the province, in which Antigonish County has 700 kilometres alone.

Earlier this year, local residents issued a petition concerning the state of the road and council subsequently passed it onto their provincial counterparts.

“As a result, council sent a letter to the minister,” Warden Owen McCarron said following the meeting. “Minister Hines was quick to get back to us with a response.”

According to the minister, while some work had been done on the Old Maryvale Road in the past, he indicated he wanted to have his staff evaluate the condition of the road and follow-up with District 1 Councillor Mary MacLellan to highlight specific concerns with the road.

McCarron advised there are several areas of concern the municipality and in return, their local residents would like to have addressed.

“There ae a lot of areas that have poor ditching, it needs some cross-culverts, there’s a lot of areas that water was actually, during the springtime, running over the surface of the road,” McCarron said. “Primarily ditching, gravelling, better culverts and some brush removal as well are the general concerns from the residents.”

The warden also advised during heavy rainfall last spring, there were a number of times, the culverts weren’t able to handle the flow.

As it’s a provincial road, the warden advised there’s not much more the municipality can do, but senior staff hope the local branch will do some work on the road this year, with a bigger upgrade in the future.

“We’re going to wait to hear back from the local office,” McCarron said. “To see what they have planned for later in the summer, or early fall.”