Implementation ongoing

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Implementation ongoing

HALIFAX - The province is well on its way to implementing the recommendations made by consultants Opus International following a snowstorm last November that stranded 1,500 motorists on the Cobequid Pass.

"There are some we're still working on, but there's quite a few of them we have implemented," Catherine MacIsaac of the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department said. "There's quite a long list, but we're working our way through them."

Last week, the province called for tenders to pave eight kilometres of the old Trans-Canada Highway through the Wentworth Valley. While the road was reduced to secondary status with the 44-kilometre Cobequid Pass was opened in 1997, the consultants recommended maintaining that highway as an alternate route during storms and in times of emergency when the toll highway that runs between Thomson Station and Glenholme is closed.

MacIsaac said the paving project is just one of the recommendations being acted upon by the department. She said tenders have been called for the paving of the crossovers between the east and westbound lands of the Cobequid Pass while overhead electronic signage will be put in place before winter.

Many smaller recommendations, such as including CB radios in the snowplows, have already been acted upon while others, such as exploring the possibility of construction rest stops along the highway, have yet to be acted on.

While it wasn't a formal recommendation of Opus International, MacIsaac said the department had thermal weather mapping done on the highway so transportation officials will know what to expect in certain conditions.

"It gives us the ability over a period of weeks or months to map the weather patterns," MacIsaac said. "It gives us a good sense of what to expect in particular circumstances."

The department will be able to take a weather forecast and determine how the road will be impacted.

Following the storm, Opus International made 30 recommendations including the installation of overhead signage at each end of the highway along with mobilizing winter maintenance crews by Nov. 1.

MacIsaac said winter crews in that area of the province will be mobilized earlier this year, but she's not sure if it will be as early as Nov. 1.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Infrastructure Renewal Department, Trans-Canada Highway, Thomson Station

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Wentworth Valley

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Recent comments

  • Confused
    January 18, 2010 - 11:23

    The Cobequid Pass was opened with great praise and assurance that there would be less highway accidents, etc. Wentworth Valley had been given the nickname of Death Valley. It was supposed to be so much safer with the new and improved Cobequid Pass. After all the money and time spent on it now there is a plan to use the Wentworth route during certain weather conditions. Has it suddenly become safer? Where is the money coming from to pay for the upgrades to Wentworth Valley? Will there be a toll charge there as well? Unfortunately the Wentworth area paid dearly when the Cobequid Pass opened. Several of the local business' closed...jobs lost. So much for progress.

  • ecoli
    January 18, 2010 - 11:03

    The new route was chosen mainly because the residents of Wentworth complained that a enlarged highway would destroy their community and they raised a big stink. It didn't have anything to do with safety.

    Driving through there the past few years looks like a ghost town.

  • ecoli
    January 18, 2010 - 11:02

    The new route was chosen mainly because the residents of Wentworth complained that a enlarged highway would destroy their community and they raised a big stink. It didn't have anything to do with safety.

    Driving through there the past few years looks like a ghost town.

  • Bob
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    actually confused it is safer, there are less accidents and I can tell you this driving on a twinned highway certainly makes me feel safer. It wasn't that long ago that travelling through the wentworth valley was known as death valley. Now that the speed limit is lower I normally avoid the tolls and drive through the valley and the roadway isn't that bad. It will be nice though whenever it is paved.

    I'm more upset that the old conservative gov't paid consultants good money to tell them to maintain the secondary route? huh?

  • good driver
    January 18, 2010 - 10:38

    Maybe if people actually slowed down and drove to what the conditions were we wouldn't have this problem. Or hey, get this, don't drive in the middle of a snow storm!
    If they are calling for a storm and you are caught in the middle of a highway in it, is your own stupidity!!! I know the weather men and women arent always right, but come on! Gee they are only calling for 20cm of snow, but ill travel in it anyways. And not just travel in it, drive crazy and speed in it and expect my car or truck not to go off the road....hahahah you people amuse me

  • ohh my
    January 18, 2010 - 10:38

    Wow, they are going to increase signage.... do people really need an overhead sign to know that its snowing to slow down....hahahah , thats as bad as having to put caution hot on coffee cups....