Road access issue still unresolved
Raitt vows to continue efforts to help in the matter
Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said she’s doing what she can to help find a resolution to a road access issue at an intersection along the Sydney Port Access Road.
The road, located at the intersection of SPAR and Lingan Road, provides an alternate route to Victoria Road from Whitney Pier and opens up the former coke ovens site for development. But it has remained closed and barricaded since it was constructed because Nova Scotia Lands Inc. has been unable to get approval from the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway to build a grade crossing over a rail line.
The rail company, owned by U. S.- based Genesee & Wyoming Inc., has cited safety concerns with the large intersection, noting the possibility of vehicles getting stuck in the intersection when the safety arms come down to stop traffic from approaching trains.
In Sydney this week for a couple of announcements, Raitt expressed frustration that a resolution hasn’t been found.
“I thought it would find its way through the system by now and I’m very disappointed that it hasn’t and I’ll go back and I’ll redouble my efforts,” she said. “We’re going to see what we can do to help on this matter. I’m stunned that it’s still a problem.
Raitt said she hopes an agreement can be arrived at quickly.
“I know it’s a private crossing and I know there has to be an agreement on this, but my goodness, certainly we can get together and figure this out with Genesee & Wyoming,” she said.
Gary Campbell, president of Nova Scotia Lands Inc., said he’s pleased to hear the issue is on Raitt’s radar.
He said their discussions with the rail company and Transport Canada are ongoing.
“We’re still waiting and hoping that we’ll get approval to bring the barricades down,” he said. “We’ve hired a consultant to do a traffic study that hopefully will help us convince them to let us finish that inter- section and open it up. We’d really like to see that opened up.”
The road was constructed as part of the 10- year, $ 400- million remediation project of the former Sydney tar ponds and associated sites, which is now completed.
One road off the four-way intersection at Sydney Port Access Road and Lingan Road remains closed and barricaded as access discussions continue between Nova Scotia Lands Inc. and the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway.