Politicians spar over CAA’s Worst Roads

Election-bound politicians are sparring over how best to fix Nova Scotia’s crumbling roadways after the Canadian Automobile Association released the results of its latest Worst Roads campaign.

The top 10 2017 Worst Roads in Atlantic Canada survey has Mountain Road on Nova Scotia’s Christmas Island/Eskasoni in first place, while River John’s Louisville Road ranks third.

“The McNeil government has let our roads deteriorate badly over the last three-and-a-half years. There’s no way we can trust them to get serious about road paving now,” said Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie.

The PCs unveiled their Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund on Monday, which calls for a $2-billion investment to improve roads and transportation infrastructure, as well as hospitals, high-speed Internet and other needed services.

But Liberal candidate Geoff MacLellan, running in Glace Bay, said Stephen McNeil’s government would invest $10 million per year for gravel road maintenance alone if it is re-elected.

But he said that road repair in general is driven by local demand and that traffic volume is a factor when determining what routes are maintenance priorites.

“I think you’ll see a significant number of roads improving over the next few years,” said MacLellan, who served as minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal under McNeil’s first government.

The CAA says road conditions affect everyone through increased vehicle repair costs, insurance claims, work compensation, healthcare costs and time wasted stuck in traffic.

The annual Worst Roads campaign attracted more than 7,000 votes for roads in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

“Ongoing road maintenance is essential to ensure that we can all enjoy safe, economical, environmentally responsible and pleasant driving conditions. We have notified government officials for each of the top 10 roads and always welcome the opportunity to share information on planned repairs or upgrades,” said Gary Howard, vice-president of communications at CAA Atlantic, in a news release Wednesday.

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