Culvert clean-up

A clogged CN culvert has forced part of Route 106 between Memramcook and Dorchester to be closed. This has caused local residents to take long detours. (Marc Genuist/CBC)

Some families in Dorchester are travelling 180 kilometres a day to take their children to and from school due to a washed out road in southeastern community. 

A section of Route 106 between Memramcook and Dorchester has been flooded since last Wednesday and that is causing a major detour for locals, including for at least seven families of school-aged children.

The road closure means school buses in the area are cancelled.

So, the affected families must drive to Memramcook, take the highway to Sackville and then drive through that town to reach Dorchester just to bring their children to and from school each day.

For Tara Veach, the trip to pick up or drop off her kids at school used to take seven minutes and now it takes 45 minutes — each way.

"There's got to be some other solution than mom loading kids in the car, along with seven other families loading kids in the car, and getting them to school,” she said.

Veach must now drive 90 kilometres — roughly 45 kilometres each way — twice a day so she can drop off her children at school and then pick them up in the afternoon. The washed out road means she is driving 180 kilometres a day.

Veach said the extended commute has been hard on local families and there's been little communication about what's happening.

“I'm flabbergasted and at a loss for why this is an issue repeatedly and why no one is stepping forward to say: this is our plan, this is what we are going to do and I realize it's an inconvenience and we're sorry about that and this is how we're going to help you out with this inconvenience,” she said.

Veach met with Progressive Conservative Tantramar MLA Mike Olscamp on Monday to ask for help getting area children to school.

Olscamp confirmed with CBC News that school buses should be restored on Tuesday or Wednesday but the buses will take the 45-kilometre route until the main road re-opens.

He said a blocked culvert is to blame for the flooding and that CN has promised to fix it in the coming months.