Nova Scotia MLA raises concerns regarding snow clearing on Cobequid Pass

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HALIFAX – Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie is concerned with recent closures to the Cobequid Pass that links Thomson Station in Cumberland County to Masstown in Colchester.

Jaime Baillie, Cumberland South MLA and PC leader, wants the province to review the level of snow clearing operations on the Cobequid Pass. This comes after two incidents where the highway was closed during snow events.

Speaking during Question Period on Thursday, the PC leader asked Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan to review the amount of snow clearing equipment available to clear the pass and alternate routes through the Wentworth Valley.

“This highway is a vital link, keeping Cumberland County connected to the rest of Nova Scotia,” said Baillie. “Cumberland County families and businesses deserve to know there is an adequate plan to protect the travelling public and keep the Pass safely open in winter.”

The east and westbound lanes of the 44-kilometre highway were closed for several hours earlier this month when a sudden snowfall forced transport trucks to become stuck in both lanes near the toll plaza.

Some motorists spent more than seven hours stuck in their vehicles waiting for the highway to be reopened.

The eastbound section of highway was closed at Exit 7 earlier this week when a transport truck jack-knifed on the road, again diverting traffic through the Wentworth Valley.

Baillie said it’s only the second week in December and the highway has already been closed twice. He called on the Liberal government to ensure the highway stays open in the winter and that motorists can travel safely.

The Cumberland South MLA also noted how hard the snow clearing personnel work to keep our roads safe.

“The province has a responsibility to provide sufficient road clearing equipment and to ensure that equipment is in the right place to maintain this critical link in the wintertime,” said Baillie. “I will continue to pressure the Minister to make sure Cumberland County stays safely connected.”

According to the Cobequid Pass website “detailed reports of the highway's operation are given to the deputy minister of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on a monthly basis, and he in turn informs the minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal as the owner.”

A previous Liberal government opened Cobequid Pass as a toll highway in November of 1997.

Organizations: PC, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Wentworth Valley, Nova Scotia

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