Port au Choix residents fear bad road will affect tourism

The National Historic site in Port au Choix is a big draw for tourists, but some locals feel the state of the road leading to the iconic lighthouse could keep people away.
Some people in Port au Choix worry that tourism dollars may be at stake if the road to the National Historic site isn't fixed up. (CBC)

The National Historic site in Port au Choix is a big draw for tourists, but some locals feel the state of the road could keep people away.

The 1.5 kilometre-stretch of unpaved gravel road leads to the iconic Point Riche lighthouse.

The Point Riche lighthouse in Port au Choix is a big tourist attraction. (CBC)

The road is lined with potholes, and now with winter weather, the potholes are filled with frozen water. 

Concerned citizen Larry Plowman said it is not safe to drive on the road, especially for anyone in a small car. 

"Those pot holes are fairly large. I'd say they are about eight or ten inches deep there, and for a small vehicle coming over it, it's sure to do damage to your vehicle," said Plowman.

"I think the road should be kept up, it's in terrible condition. It's not up to standards of any other parks across Canada and National Historic Sites — this would not go on."

Port au Choix resident John White fears the road will scare away tourists. 

"Not hard to miss potholes, it would be more hard to hit a straight spot on this road from the centre out to the lighthouse," said White. 

The gravel road leading to the lighthouse in Port au Choix is filled with potholes. (CBC)

"People have looked at this and not even bothered to go out there. If somebody did drive over it and injure their vehicle, damage their vehicle, they certainly would not be passing favourable word back to their relatives and friends back home."

$260K spent on improving road

Parks Canada owns the property and said it grades the road yearly, most recently in July. 

Spokesperson Trudy Taylor-Walsh said they monitor the road constantly, but doesn't maintain the road during the off-season.

Taylor-Walsh said $260,000 has been spent on the road.

 "If there was an issue around the structural stability of the road, or the safety, then we would take some action. But right now it's a nuisance and it's potholes, but it's not a safety issue," she said.

Taylor-Walsh said the road will be graded again in the spring, in time for tourist season. 

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