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Mt. Denson resident claims lack of paint on newly paved road caused father's accident

Christina Weagle, at the site of where her father’s truck crashed on Highway 1, where skid marks can still be seen. Her father wasn’t badly injured, but Weagle says she’s concerned that it took so long to install reflective markers.
Christina Weagle, at the site of where her father’s truck crashed on Highway 1, where skid marks can still be seen. Her father wasn’t badly injured, but Weagle says she’s concerned that it took so long to install reflective markers. - Colin Chisholm

MT. DENSON, N.S. — Christina Weagle says she’s concerned about portions of Highway 1 between Falmouth and Hantsport after her father was in a car accident near her house. 

“Friday night (Nov. 10), at about quarter to six, we had left our driveway and headed towards Windsor and on our way to Windsor, police vehicles flew by,” Weagle said. “Shortly after that, I was notified that my dad had gone off the road less than 500 feet from our house.”

Her father wasn’t badly injured; he suffered some bruises.

“He lives in Hantsport and visits me all the time. This wasn’t his first trip on this road by any means, and when he came around the corner it was dark enough that he could not see where the edge of that pavement was,” she said. 

Weagle said her father’s truck tire clipped the edge of the payment, which is now the shoulder of the road. He dipped into the ditch, went back onto the road, over-corrected, swerved and spilled into the ditch several feet ahead, tailgate first. 

She said it could have been much worse.

“He could not see where the edge of the pavement was and there were no clear markings at all,” she said. 

Since the interview, the company working on the road, Chapman Bros Construction, has placed reflective markings along the sides of the road. 

Weagle said the road had been without such markings for weeks, including when her father had the accident.

The construction work is extending the pavement right to the edge of the ditch, removing the gravel. The road is also being paved from Falmouth to Hantsport. 

“It needs to be painted, the lines have got to be out there,” she said. “And any place where the pavement goes to the edge of the road I think guardrails need to be put in.”

MLA responds

Hants West MLA Chuck Porter said the work on Highway 1 that extends from Mount Uniacke all the way to Hantsport has been a multi-year project.

He said the province included paved shoulders, to widen space for walking and biking. 

“I don’t think they’re painted now, but they will be,” Porter said. “We need a dry day; the paint we use needs dry weather.” 

Porter said the project was initially supposed to be from the intersection at Pothier Motors in Falmouth to the outer limit of Hantsport, but was extended at either end.

Work began on the Falmouth to Hantsport section in 2013 and will be completed this year.

Porter said he can’t comment on whether or not the lack of paint caused the accident but did acknowledge that it would have been difficult to see on a dark night. 

“I’ve called (the department of transportation and infrastructure renewal) to find a day that’s good to paint,” he said. “Hoping to paint it this week.”

Porter said Chapman Bros Construction, which is based in Prince Edward Island, was the lowest bidder through tender and therefore won the provincial contract. He said they’ve done a fair bit of work in the area, including Highway 14. 

He said construction companies from across Nova Scotia will bid on tenders outside of the province as well. 

Porter said he’s very pleased to have that section of highway nearing completion.

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