Drivers say confusing signs keeping them from leaving New Brunswick

Drivers heading to P.E.I. from Moncton are running into some confusion after changes to the highway near Shediac, part of a massive twinning project of Route 11 between Shediac and Miramichi.

Signage from new construction makes it confusing, drivers say

The newly twinned section of Route 11, between Route 15 and Shediac River, officially opened to traffic on Dec. 21, 2017. In the background is one of the two signs indicating the turn to P.E.I. (New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Drivers heading to P.E.I. from Moncton are running into some confusion after changes to the highway near Shediac, part of a massive twinning project of route 11 between Shediac and Miramichi.

Some drivers have gone as far as Bouctouche before realizing they were heading in the wrong direction. That's 35 kilometres past the turn to P.E.I. at Shediac.

"The sign for P.E.I. happens quite a way back before you would turn off," said Rich Beharrell, who travels back and forth to Moncton three times a month.

"I measured it, just for fun, because I keep thinking about it as I go over there and even the sign is smaller, it's in a smaller font."

Some P.E.I. drivers have missed the signs and driven as far as Bouctouche before realizing they were going the wrong way. (Radio-Canada)

Beharrell said it's also confusing because if you miss the first sign, you won't know what to look for on the second sign. 

"It happens fast and there are other signs in between that can easily distract you from, oh, where do I turn off?" Beharrell said.

"It's almost like they want to keep you in New Brunswick."

This is one of the new signs showing the direction to P.E.I. (Radio-Canada)

When contacted by CBC, a spokesperson for the New Brunswick department of transportation and infrastructure said there are two signs indicating an exit for Prince Edward Island, while driving east from Moncton.

"The first is located two kilometres before where the road splits for Route 11 and Route 15 at kilometre 29. The second sign is located at kilometre 31, where Route 11 and Route 15 split," he said in an email.

Some P.E.I. drivers say they would like to see more signs and bigger ones, especially because the route has changed. (Radio-Canada)

On social media, Prince Edward Islanders are sharing their stories of missing the turn.

One person said she ended up lost in January and had to ask for directions at a service station. She was told there had been what the attendant described as hundreds of Islanders stopping at his location after getting lost.

Another driver reported missing the exit, but quickly turned around. She said they won't miss the turn again, now that they know it's there.

Andrew Jennings, who lives in Shediac, made a drone video of the new section of highway because he and his neighbours were curious about what it looked like.

"I think some people may find it a little confusing, the lanes are designed in such a way that you have to be alert, especially if you're passing somebody," Jennings said.

"I just think it's a little confusing, the signage could be improved, it would be a low cost improvement."

The construction project meant several months of detours around Shediac before the new section of highway opened. (Serge Clavette/CBC)

Beharrell agrees.

"I don't think the signage is all that great and I've thought that for many years," he said.

"I think they should have a sign saying this is the turn to P.E.I."

The construction project meant several months of detours around Shediac before the new section of highway opened.

One Island driver got lost in the detours in late November and ended up in the Santa Claus parade in Shediac.

About the Author

Nancy Russell

Nancy Russell has been a reporter with CBC since 1987, in Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Toronto and Charlottetown. When not on the job, she spends her time on the water rowing, travelling to Kenya or walking her dog. Nancy.Russell@cbc.ca