Nova Scotia

Some storm-damaged Cape Breton roads, bridges might not be fully restored until summer

Nova Scotia Public Works doesn't know how much all the repairs will cost, but says it will be in the millions.

Temporary bridges to be installed in areas where there have been complete losses

A bridge in Tarbotvale, N.S., was destroyed in the storm earlier this week. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

It could take until summer before some storm-damaged roads and bridges in Cape Breton are fully restored.

Crews have been working day and night since the storm earlier this week to repair roads that were washed out. Part of the work involves making temporary structures.

"With the extent of the damage, it will exceed into this winter and even into next summer before we can get some permanent structures for the largest places that we've suffered losses," Guy Deveau, acting executive director for Nova Scotia Public Works, said in an interview Friday.

Deveau said crews are working in the meantime on detours and temporary bridges to help get things moving again.

"In some areas, the smaller bridges can be done faster. Some of the largest structures we've lost will take more time to have those erected," he said. 

"Most of them, we do have detour routes in place where traffic can get around safely but it will be some time before we have all of the bridges reinstated."

Guy Deveau is acting executive director of Nova Scotia Public Works. ( Patrick Callaghan/CBC)

It's not clear how much it will cost to repair everything. Deveau estimated "we will definitely be in the several millions of dollars to repair damages."

"But at this point, we're still working on assessing all the damage and prioritizing public safety and addressing those worst locations."

Deveau said this past storm was one of the worst "in quite some time."

Remnants of a bridge that was washed out in Tarbotvale, N.S. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

"We do have storms every few years that come around and in subject areas to flooding and damage, but it is a very significant storm."

Marcel Lavoie, who lives in Tarbotvale, is using milk crates and zip ties to get supplies after a steel bridge in the area was destroyed in the storm. One of the first items sent over was a thermos of tea.

"It's just a remarkable thing. I don't think it will be long restoring that because they're going to go around and then they're getting the phones in and it'll be makeshift," Lavoie said.

Marcel Lavoie lives in Tarbotvale. Locals are using milk crates and zip ties to get supplies after a bridge was destroyed in a storm earlier this week. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

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With files from Amy Smith, Craig Paisley and Steve Lawrence

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