Road ac­cess is­sue still un­re­solved

Raitt vows to con­tinue ef­forts to help in the mat­ter

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY LAURA JEAN GRANT lj­grant@cb­post.com

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.

LAURA JEAN GRANT/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

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