Residents of Glen Road in Pictou County want it closed to heavy truck traffic.
During a December meeting, Fred Rutledge asked MOPC Council for support in getting the provincial government to close the road to truck traffic because of safety concerns for residents and motorists.
He said the narrow dirt road spans between Mt Thom and West Branch and is close to gravel and rock pits. In a two-week period in September, he counted more than 2444 tractor-trailer gravel trucks
travelling on the road.
“That road is not safe for that sort of traffic,” he said. “There are 54 blind corners on that road and 11 blind hills, multiple blind driveways that go into cottages and residences, and it’s just not safe. That’s 54 tons travelling at you on that road, and there are steep embankments, no guardrails, and no safety and caution or warning signs. I don’t know anyone travelling on that road who hasn’t had a bad encounter with those trucks. They travel in the centre of the road, and if you are unfortunate to meet one of those trucks on a blind hill or corner, this road is very narrow in places where cars can barely pass, so you have nowhere to go. "
Most roads in rural Pictou County are owned and maintained by the province. Rutledge said he had contacted his MLA and the Department of Transportation, but nothing has changed the situation.
Rutledge said there are alternative routes for the trucks to travel, and it would like council’s support in voicing its concerns to the province. Photos of the road conditions were also circulated, but he said residents are not asking the province for any major upgrades, only that heavy trucks stay off.
“We hope you can help us to get the road closed to trucks over 3,000 kilograms except for local delivery. They don’t need to go on that road, and it’s not safe for anyone.”
MOPC Warden Robert Parker thanked Rutledge for his presentation and said it would discuss the issue at its December property and finance committee meetings, but he also reminded him this road is owned and maintained by the province, not the municipality.
“The most we can do is supply pressure to the provincial government,” he said. “The company chooses which road it wants to go on, and I think that needs to change. When the tenders are put out and the government of the day should say these are paths to travel, so they stick to the safer roads, then all of the companies will be competing on an even basis, but If you leave it up to the companies to pick the roads, they will do it the shortest way.”