Transportation minister to hear Wentworth residents concerns

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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WENTWORTH - The community could finally have some of its questions answered when Transportation Minister Bill Estabrooks comes to Wentworth to discuss the ongoing paving of the highway through the valley.
After making a promise to come to Wentworth to listen to residents, Estabrooks will attend a public meeting at the Wentworth Recreation Centre on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
"We're very pleased the minister has followed through on his commitment to come to the community. It will be an opportunity for him to hear first hand some of the concerns residents have with the project," area resident and Cumberland County deputy warden Kathy Redmond said Wednesday.
Soon after hearing concerns that Wentworth area residents had with the repaving of the former Trans-Canada Highway through the valley, Estabrooks intervened at Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott's urging to maintain passing and turning lanes on the highway.
As much as the community is appreciative of Estabrooks' intervention on the matter, Redmond said there are still a few concerns with the multiyear project that represents the first substantial work on the highway since it was replaced by the 44-kilometre Cobequid Pass in 1997.
"We're hoping we'll be able to convince him to have the shoulders restored along the highway," Redmond said. "Right now they're proposing a six-inch shoulder when they used to be one-and-a-half to two feet wide."
Redmond said the area's development committee is attempting to promote the Wentworth area as a biking destination. She feels narrower shoulders could create a traffic hazard for leisure bicyclers.
Scott is welcoming Estabrooks' commitment to visit the community.
"I'm concerned the highway remain as it is because it will be used for overflow traffic from the Cobequid Pass during times when it's closed and the fact it remains a trucking route," Scott said in a release.
Earlier, Estabrooks said he intervened to have the passing and turning lanes restored because he understands the highway's importance to residents and as an alternate route to the toll highway.
At the time, Estabrooks said the highway was being rebuilt to the standards of other 100-series highways and that it would have the same shoulders as those roads. However, that still represents a reduction in size.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Wentworth Recreation Centre, Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Wentworth, Cumberland County

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