Hillsborough's Route 114 still closed after sinkhole
Giant sinkhole has closed a section of Route 114 near Hillsborough
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is expected to have a better idea on Thursday about how much longer a section of Route 114, near Hillsborough, will be closed because of a giant sinkhole.
Transportation Minister Claude Williams said crews are still on the site and are determining the best way to move forward.
The section of road in southeastern New Brunswick has been closed since last week when the sinkhole emerged.
The road closure has been devastating for many businesses that are located near the sinkhole.
Jay Lee, the owner of Brian’s Convenience, said he usually has between 200 and 300 customers each day. In the last few days, he said he’s lucky to have 20 people come through his doors.
At the nearby Tidewater Physiotherapy, Jane Tingley, the office manager, said new bookings are down and people are cancelling or postponing their existing appointments.
"A lot of people don't want to come all the way around because it's an extra 30 minutes one way or the road is rough or dangerous," she said.
Over at Angel Mist Treasures, Denise Ward-Beaudin said traffic on that section of 114 is now nearly non-existent. It was a very difficult long weekend for sales without the traffic coming down road, she said.
"Business? What business, there is none, it is dead," said Ward-Beaudin.
"Easter weekend, we usually have 200 to 300 people through, [last weekend] we had five."
Route 114 connects people driving between Riverview and Hillsborough. While it is a difficult time for all businesses in the area, it is particularly worrisome for businesses that rely on the road to bring large numbers of tourists.
Annick Robichaud, the admissions and group tours manager with Hopewell Rocks, said the popular tourist attraction is already gearing up for the start of this year's tourism season.
She said she hopes the added travel time because of the route closure will not discourage visitors from coming down to the park.
"In terms of motor coaches, I do have quite a few reservations already lined up and I'm communicating with them individually to make sure that they are aware of it and they are driving slowly, because some of the turns are a bit difficult for transports coming down to deliver anywhere in the region or motor coaches coming down to visit the beautiful bay," Robichaud said.
"So we want to make sure that they are careful and people are aware that there could be some on-coming traffic."