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County’s concerns over Trunk 4-Beech Hill intersection increase as heavy season for traffic approaches

The intersection at Beech Hill Road and the former Hwy. 104 which was a topic of discussion during the Municipality of the County of Antigonish's latest regular monthly, public meeting.
The intersection at Beech Hill Road and the former Hwy. 104 which was a topic of discussion during the Municipality of the County of Antigonish's latest regular monthly, public meeting. - Richard MacKenzie
ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

Another accident at the intersection near Beech Hill between Beech Hill Road and Trunk 4 (Old Hwy. 104) has steeled the resolve of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish council that something must be done to fix how traffic flows in that area.

Councilor Bill MacFarlane expressed his concern over that intersection, saying, “It’s not an exaggeration to say it has been ongoing since the bypass opened.”

“There’s confusion about who has the right of way, and there are poor lines of sight there,” MacFarlane told council at their June 18 meeting.

“I know the province has been working on a solution, but they have been playing their cards close to their vests,” MacFarlane said.

MacFarlane stressed that safety at the Old Highway-Beech Hill intersection is of particular concern, given that ‘we’re heading into the busy traffic season.”

 “There are too many close calls and too many accidents,” MacFarlane added, suggesting the county contact Hines again.

Since that particular intersection is where a local road intersects a provincial highway, the ball is in the court of the province, so to speak, to do something about the situation.

After the meeting discussing the problematic intersection, Antigonish County Warden Owen McCarron noted the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) is looking at various options.

The county has yet to hear back from the province on that matter, though.

“We’re not sure if anything is going to happen this summer,” McCarron said. “As accidents continue to happen at that intersection, we’re hopeful the province can figure out a solution even on the interim basis, before a major solution is determined.’

The intersection has been the site of numerous collisions and near-misses since it was reopened to four-way traffic in October 2016. The county has raised the issue with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Lloyd Hines.

Considering the frequency of accidents at that intersection, McCarron said, “we’re not sure if people lose sight of traffic somehow or what, but we’re obviously concerned about it and we’re hopeful nothing more serious happens at that intersection.”

McCarron is hopeful the province will come up with something soon but noted, “it takes a lot of planning to find a solution that could remedy the situation.”
 

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