A Cape Breton councillor is calling on the Nova Scotia government to repave -- not just patch -- a five-kilometre stretch of road littered with potholes.
The road in Reserve Mines, N.S. is the talk of the town, especially since a cab driver ended up in hospital after his vehicle struck one of the potholes and left the road earlier this week.
“I was coming down the road and hit the pothole. It grabbed the tire – the pothole is big enough for the whole tire to fit in – and I kept going,” recalls David Vaters. “The tire turned the car and I went off into the woods.”
Several vehicles have been damaged due to the potholes, resulting in a big boost in business for one auto-body shop in the area.
Owner John Finlayson says January is usually quiet at his shop, but the last few weeks have been anything but.
“We’re seeing front-end damage, struts collapsing on vehicles, and it gets pretty costly,” he says. “With damage suspension, it can get pretty costly for the consumer.”
Finlayson says he is seeing as many as four damaged vehicles a day.
The Department of Transportation spent Wednesday and Thursday patching the road, but local councillor George MacDonald says patching isn’t going to cut it. He says it needs to be repaved.
“The Reserve Mines road is not on the books to get repaved completely this year. I think it has to be done. There’s so much patching there now,” says MacDonald.
He also says he has been receiving numerous calls from constituents, who are upset about the state of the road. However, he says the road in question is the province’s responsibility.
“I get a lot of heat,” he says.
MacDonald also notes that a newly-constructed coal road for the Donkin Mine needs to open soon, and, until it does, large trucks will continue to travel through Reserve Mines, which the Department of Transportation says is taking a toll on the condition of the road.
“It’s definitely not helping the problem,” says Coady Roland, area manager for the department. “The haul road is being put in there for a reason.”
MacDonald plans to meet with the Department of Transportation to find a solution.
Until then, Finlayson says he expects to see more damaged vehicles arriving at his shop.