Potholes around Pictou County may not be a surprise sight in the spring but one local road now has a claim to fame that it is worse than all the others.
The Meadowville Station Road has ranked the sixth-worst road in all of Atlantic Canada, after public voting. The road itself acts as a short cut between Scotsburn and the Sunrise Trail and runs about 13.5 km in length. For those who live along the road and anyone who lives in the area, it’s no surprise that the road made it to CAA’s top 10 list of the annual competition.
“It’s just a terrible road, it’s quite a stretch of it,” said Gary Heighton, a resident who lives along the road and is a tow truck and car repair business owner. Heighton has seen it all when it comes to car troubles as a result of the road. And although he added that it can be good for his business, it is certainly not ideal. Potholes on the road may not be deep but they span the road and, coupled with crumbling sides and centre, it’s difficult not to hit a bump on the road.
“We drive up and down it in that old truck and it just bangs and smashes,” said Heighton motioning to a slightly beat up pickup truck. “The best we can do is about 10 kilometres an hour in the tow truck.”
While the speed limit on the road is meant to be 80 km/hour, those who drive too fast down the road tend to bounce into the ditch either trying to avoid the potholes or because of the eroding shoulder. Heighton said he often fixes ball joints, bent rims and more as a result of drivers using the roadway.
Heighton estimates that it’s been 20 years since the road has been paved according to his memory; although there has been patchwork done, it is clear by looking at some spots that the patches have not held.
“We’ve been here 30 some years … this is the worst I’ve seen it,” he said.
Wayne Murray, county councillor for the area, was not surprised by the road’s nomination for the list as he is well familiar with the trouble and reputation of it. While as a county councillor he cannot do much about it, he has fought and continues to fight to have the road repaved.
“Two years ago I sent a letter of concern,” said Murray. “It’s terrible, residents shouldn’t have to deal with that in this day and age.”
Although the road made the top 10 list worst roads list, Murray added that the repairs are usually done as a result of the amount of traffic the road sees. The issue with the system, however, Murray pointed out, is that the worse the road, the fewer people drive down it or the more people go out of their way to avoid it, therefore ranking it lower on the list.
“As council, our hands are tied,” he said since the province repairs the county’s roads. “I’d like to see the Minister (of Transportation and Infrastructre Renewal) come for a drive.”