Sherbrooke Street opens, giving easier access for emergency vehicles
New road opens up dead end street.
A new road is expected to help emergency response times in Glace Bay.
John Chant, fire chief of the Glace Bay Fire Department, said he’s pleased to see the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has opened up Sherbrooke Street - which was previously a deadend street, by extending it through the former St. Michael’s Junior High School property to King Edward Street.
“I’m ecstatic over this one, now 35 to 40 per cent of my department has access to quicker ways to get to the fire station, therefore our response is going to increase that much faster,” he said.
“If I can get my volunteers to the station quicker, I can get them out to those who need us that much faster.”
Chant said the issue before was having so many firefighters living over in that direction, trying to access the station through Gannon Street onto Reserve Street.
He said with it being a high traffic area, it was difficult and nearly impossible at times to make a left-hand turn to the fire station.
Chant said the CBRM was well aware of their concerns.
“It sort of died off and then all of a sudden - surprise - there’s a road there. I guess the bureaucratic wheel turned slow but something finally clicked in. It’s great!”
Dist. 9 Coun. George MacDonald organized and was part of meetings to improve access in this area for the fire department.
He said the department was also struggling with the fire truck accessing the side streets there and having to go the long way through Main Street and back around to do so.
“It was adding time to their response time, that was their concern.”
MacDonald said it’s great to see this street opened up now. He doesn’t know how the residents who are used to low traffic feel about the change, but he hasn’t received complaints.
Dist. 10 Coun. Darrell Flynn, a former school board member, said there was talk of building this road years ago but because there was a school there, they decided against it.
“Where the school was closing in a couple years anyway, a decision was made to wait.”
He said it was felt if they opened up Sherbrook Street onto Reserve Street, with King Edward Street so close, there would be too much congestion.
“It was decided they’d go from Sherbrooke Street to King Edward Street, there’d be less congestion on Reserve Street.”
Flynn said it’s great to see this extension.
“Absolutely, it’s fantastic, just great. We needed that.”
The former St. Michael’s Jr. High School closed in 2010 and was demolished.
The CBRM divided the property and put it up for tender.
Flynn said some proposals for the land have been made but nothing has been approved yet.
Employees of Municipal Ready Mix, from left to right, Mike Hayes, Sydney Forks, Matthew McGean, Florence, and Kevin Gale, North Sydney, work on paving the new extension added onto Sherbrooke Street, Glace Bay, which extends through the former St. Michael’s Jr. High School property, onto King Edward Street. Glace Bay fire chief John Chant says this will make a huge difference with access for emergency vehicles.