New highway takes toll on surrounding areas

Jason Malloy
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WENTWORTH - Lives have been saved while businesses closed by diverting highway traffic away from Wentworth Valley during the past decade.
The Trans-Canada Highway 104 ran through Wentworth from the mid 1950s until Nov. 15, 1997, when the Cobequid Pass opened. In the 10 years leading up to the pass, 52 traffic deaths occurred on the treacherous road connecting Truro to Amherst.
The traffic used to go right by Kathy Redmond's front door.
"I can't say that I'm sorry that it's gone," said the Cumberland County councillor for Wentworth.
"Safety wise, I think it was a good thing," she said of the new highway.
But there's no question the impact of moving the main road had on local businesses. At one point there were five gas stations, a restaurant, a grocery store and loads of traffic.
"We only have three businesses left," Redmond said.
That includes the ski hill, motel and convenience store, which added gas pumps after the last service station shut down in 2005.
Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey made numerous trips through the valley when it was the main drag. He said the new road has saved lives.
"It's a much safer highway than the old one when you think back to all the traffic that used to be on that old highway around the curves and hills. It was a very tricky piece of road," he said. "I can remember being in the ditch a time or two in the valley to avoid an accident."

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway 104

Geographic location: Wentworth Valley, Amherst, Cumberland County

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