Limestone residents demand fix to major road washout
West River Road has been impassable for four months and people want to know why it hasn't been fixed
People who live near the rural community of Limestone in northwestern New Brunswick are tired of waiting for a major road washout to be fixed.
On June 3, a large section of West River Road washed out. An 83-year-old woman and her 61-year-old son spent three months in hospital recovering from their injuries after their car drove nose first into the pit left by the washout.
Almost four months later, the destroyed car has been removed, but nothing else has been done to repair the road and reopen it to traffic.
"We're very upset with the way this is being handled about the washout," said Roy McLaughlin, who now has to detour 30 minutes in each direction in order to visit friends and family.
"It's been four months. There's something wrong somewhere," he said.
Jerry Holmes shares McLaughlin's frustration.
"They say it's funding but I don't believe it, because if this road was somewhere else in this province, it would have been fixed in a short period of time," said Holmes.
Environment and Local Government Minister Danny Soucy is the MLA for the Grand Falls-Drummond-Saint-André area. He says the road won't be fixed any time soon.
"The department said about December, early January – between the two, December and January, depending on how the work goes," said Soucy.
The MLA said he has been told there is a study in the works by the transportation department, but residents told him Monday that is not satisfactory.
"I don't mean to be rude to you, and I don't mean to be nasty, but why are we just hearing about a study and seeing nothing done," said Gary McLaughlin.
"Tell me something Danny, why would it take five months for the government to even think about fixing this?" asked Donny Moran.
"Our road that we earn our livelihood from is not being maintained and you know that's really troublesome," said Jennifer Holmes.
"And that's what causes us to have such great concerns because we need our road to get to work, to visit our families, to be safe and I worry about my children, that they're not on a bus that goes in a hole like this," she said.