BROW OF THE MOUNTAIN, NS - A concerned Gospel Road resident describes a dilapidated section of the highway’s east-bound lane as “a disaster waiting to happen.”
Tom Scott said the condition of the lane in the vicinity of civic number 211 is “unbelievable.” He moved to the area a little over a year ago and immediately noticed the poor shape of the road.
“At first, I didn’t really grasp how dangerous it could be but then I started noticing, as I come around that corner going the other way, that cars would be on my side of the road,” Scott said.
He said people who live in the area and frequently travel the road are aware of the situation, so they slow down and look out. What concerns Scott is tourists or other people from outside the community who aren’t familiar with the safety concern.
If they are rounding the turn heading west, they might have no warning of an oncoming east-bound vehicle crossing the yellow line to avoid the dilapidated section, which could result in a head-on collision. Scott said it isn’t uncommon for people to come barreling through at 80 to 100 km/h.
Scott said he has been told by other residents, including a man who lives right beside the turn, that an alarming number of close calls have been observed. Scott did some research and found no mention of improvements to Gospel Road – also known as Gospel Woods Road - in the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s 2018-2019 Five Year Highway Improvement Plan or other documents.
Scott said he brought the situation to the attention of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in New Minas in the summer of 2017 but he has heard nothing in response. Scott has gathered the names of approximately 60 people on a petition who have recognized and observed the dangerous situation. He said he could have gathered many more if he had more time.
“I’m thinking to myself, my God, nothing is going to happen,” Scott said. “This is going to get worse and worse and worse and, by God, there’s going to be an accident and it’s likely going to be serious.”
Scott said that, after somebody is critically injured or dies, then the road will be fixed but he doesn’t think it has to play out like that. Something could be done to fix the problem now and prevent a potential tragedy.
He circulated the signed petition via email to department officials, Kings North MLA John Lohr and members of the media on May 21. Scott said he intends to hand deliver copies to department officials in New Minas and to Lohr’s constituency office as well.
Scott understands that the department has a proliferation of potholes to address and only so much money to go around but he said this dangerous situation is going to end badly if action isn’t taken. He pointed out that the road is a school bus route and that heavy agricultural equipment frequently travels the stretch.
Scott said it’s important for him to try to do something to correct the situation so it doesn’t weigh heavily on his conscience if there is a tragedy.
“I think that as a neighbour and somebody that lives up here, that I have a responsibility to report it,” Scott said.
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal representatives didn’t respond to a request for an interview prior to deadline for this article.