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Antigonish County officials frustrated with lack of information, progress regarding intersection

Municipality of the County of Antigonish council continues to raise safety concerns about the intersection of Beech Hill Road and Trunk 4 (the old Hwy. 104). Corey LeBlanc
Municipality of the County of Antigonish council continues to raise safety concerns about the intersection of Beech Hill Road and Trunk 4 (the old Hwy. 104). Corey LeBlanc - Corey LeBlanc

Officials with the Municipality of the County of Antigonish are bothered by what they see as a lack of progress, when it comes to addressing safety concerns with an intersection of Beech Hill Road and Trunk 4 (the old Hwy. 104).    

“We are frustrated, to be honest, because that traffic count was done a long time ago and we were assured that the details would be out shortly,” Warden Owen McCarron told reporters after council’s regular monthly meeting Sept. 18.    

“We are six, eight months into this now and we don’t seem to be getting any results from Halifax on this [issue]. We are asking questions and we are not getting anything.”    

For more than one year, municipal officials have brought safety concerns to the province regarding the intersection, which has been the site of several crashes and countless near-misses, since it re-opened to four-way traffic in October 2016, shortly after the new twinned section of Highway 104 opened between Beech Hill and Taylors Road.    

“It certainly continues to be a safety concern – nothing has changed,” McCarron said.    

County representatives have delivered their message to provincial representatives, including local MLAs Randy Delorey (Antigonish) and Lloyd Hines (Guysborough Eastern Shore Tracadie), along with Department of the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR) officials.    

Last fall, DTIR conducted traffic counts along the stretch.    

McCarron said the lack of progress has been “frustrating” not only for the travelling public, but also municipal officials, who are “fielding the calls,” when it comes to the intersection.    

“They have the information and it seems like it is sitting somewhere,” he added of the traffic counts collected by the provincial department.    

McCarron noted the municipality plans to contact Hines, once again, regarding the issue.    

“To see if he can, sort of, move the needle on this a little bit, because we are not having much luck in Halifax, right now,” he said.    

McCarron added “it has been months,” since the municipality has received any information.    

“We had a meeting about a month ago, locally, and we have asked for more information, but we just aren’t getting anything,” he added.    

When it comes to what needs to be done at the intersection to help make it safer, McCarron said, “Obviously, I defer to the experts on figuring out what’s the best means of moving traffic  efficiently.”    

“The flavour, of course, around a lot of areas now is roundabouts. It might be an area that will slow traffic down. Whatever the mechanism is, we would be happy just to make that a safer interchange,” he added.    

McCarron agreed the status quo is not the answer.

“It continues to be a bad spot and they need to do something about it,” he said.

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