Traffic is back to its usual pace on Route 126 North near Indian Mountain, New Brunswick, after the road had been closed for nearly three months. Despite being thankful for the reopening, residents say the closure, and a resulting-detour, made for a long and difficult few months.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure closed the stretch of highway on September 8, after rain from post-tropical storm Dorian washed out a culvert under the road.
Kelly Steeves, who works at the Lyons Country Store near the closure, says the poorly marked detour caused havoc for drivers – prompting the business to assist uncertain drivers who patron their store.
"We made maps, we laminated them, and we went over them with the customers,” says Steeves. “One of our employees, Frank, he made little maps by hand. If people were uncertain, he would give them the little map so they could see to get through."
In an email sent around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the road had been reopened and apologized for any inconvenience the closure may have caused.
But for Mitchell Boyle, who owns the Boyle Family Farm near the closure, an apology isn't good enough.
"Having all of the traffic from the 126 redirected was not only hard on the community here – it was also hard on the people who live on Briggs Cross Road, on Gorge Road and Indian Mountain Road,” says Boyle. “If you went over there at six o'clock, it was like driving in Toronto – it was bananas."
Boyle estimates he lost 15 to 20 per cent of his usual business during the three-month road closure.
“I had people calling me and saying ‘we've gone around, we're lost’ – they would just give up and go back home,” says Boyle. “That's lost revenue for the farm. As we all know, it's hard to be a small farm. All the revenue that we can get up here – it matters."
Meanwhile, the traffic and residents along route 126 were getting back in motion on Sunday - after a storm and road closure they'd like to leave in the past.