This is because a steep embankment adjacent to the road, which runs down to the shoreline below, is eroding.
While it’s been a gradual erosion over the years, residents of Pinkney’s Point say the washing away of the ground has been getting worse in recent months. They worry about the road located just a few feet away from where the ground is washing away, especially if there was to be heavy rain or a major storm.
In recent months Pinkney’s Point resident Ev d’Eon has voiced his concerns with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
“I had looked at it once and there was about 10 feet of dirt of the other side of the guardrail. And when I made the call maybe two to three months ago, it was up to a foot from the guardrail. It had disappeared and it all goes down the bank and the breakwater below that is gone,” he says.
And now one of the posts holding the guardrail in place is virtually completely exposed on the shore side of the road.
D’Eon says people are worried about the road. In addition to normal vehicle traffic, schools buses travel this route and large trucks travel to and from the fishing wharf when weight restrictions allow.
“Once they were hauling all kinds of trucks with rocks to the wharf for repairs. We were kind of scared it would cave in,” d’Eon says.
The road leading into Pinkney's Point comes to a dead end at the fishing wharf. If something major were to ever happen to the road the community would be cut off – unless you were traveling on foot or by boat.
Daniel Allen is the municipal councillor for the area. He says residents have contacted him with concerns.
“They’re concerned about the road and (the washout) getting underneath the road and the road just popping out,” he says. “The road is the only way on and off Pinkney’s Point.”
Allen says he’s spoken to the transportation department about the situation. He’s been told repairs will happen, but what these repairs will be remains to be seen.
WHAT WORK WILL BE DONE?
Contacted by the Tri-County Vanguard, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says road safety is the department’s top priority and crews are exploring options for repair.
“It could be a retaining wall structure or some other form of slope stabilization/shoreline protection,” says spokesperson Brian Taylor, who says the department continues to monitor the washout area.
The department says the erosion is likely caused primarily by tidal storm surge, combined with a lot of moisture in the ground. Along the shoreline there are wave breaks filled with rocks, but at the foot of the embankment where the erosion is the worst these wave breaks have moved out of place. Taylor says this is likely also contributing to the washout problem.
There is no timeline for the repairs. Spring weight restrictions on the road have to be lifted first before department trucks can travel on the road with any significant loads.
Asked if the department has been fielding concerns from residents, Taylor says, “Not many, but we are aware of the situation.”