Town against high­way twin­ning

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON / PROVINCE - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF

The mayor of Port Hawkes­bury wants the prov­ince to hit the brakes on a pro­posed high­way project.

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said twin­ning a seven-kilo­me­tre stretch of High­way 104 from Port Hast­ings to Port Hawkes­bury is “un­sus­tain­able and un­nec­es­sary.”

The Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal is cur­rently tour­ing the prov­ince try­ing to gauge pub­lic sup­port for tolls to speed up twin­ning projects by decades along eight sec­tions of ma­jor high­ways, in­clud­ing two in Cape Breton.

A fea­si­bil­ity study that’s be­ing pre­sented in Port Hawkes­bury tonight — one of 11 sched­uled across the prov­ince — es­ti­mates it would cost $87.1 mil­lion to twin the high­way run­ning through Port Hawkes­bury, by­pass­ing the town en­tirely. That would hurt lo­cal busi­nesses, said Chisholm-Beaton, who plans to at­tend the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion at the Port Hawkes­bury Civic Cen­tre from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

“Right now we have 12,500 ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling along Reeves Street on any given day, so re­duc­ing that amount of traf­fic on our road, I think, would have an im­pact on com­merce in the town…” Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

“We are con­cerned, of course,” she said. “Right now we have 12,500 ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling along Reeves Street on any given day, so re­duc­ing that amount of traf­fic on our road, I think, would have an im­pact on com­merce in the town, and it would cer­tainly have an im­pact on com­merce in Port Hast­ings as well.”

Chisholm-Beaton said while twin­ning high­ways makes sense for some ar­eas of the prov­ince, her town is work­ing on its own plan to re­vi­tal­ize its main thor­ough­fare.

She said the es­ti­mated $4-mil­lion Des­ti­na­tion Reeves Street project, which has al­ready ap­plied for gov­ern­ment fund­ing, would make the down­town more at­trac­tive and im­proves safety.

“Forever we’ve had the high­way that’s gone right through the core of our town, and we live well with that and we do have a plan to im­prove on that,” she said.

“We must con­sider the au­then­tic Cape Breton Is­land ex­pe­ri­ence. Visi­tors want to see the coast, to ex­pe­ri­ence the cul­ture, and dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties. They don’t come here to drive on a tolled high­way.”

Beaton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.