Cape Breton's Hornes Road closed indefinitely due to flood damage

It will be several months before Hornes Road, which links two Cape Breton communities, will reopen after Thanksgiving Day floodwaters destroyed a bridge along the local highway.

Design process is a lengthy one, says Roy MacDonald of Nova Scotia Department of Transportation

This bridge on Hornes Road in Cape Breton was destroyed by floodwaters during the recent storm. (N.S. Department of Transportation)

It will be several months before a road linking two Cape Breton communities will reopen, after Thanksgiving Day floodwaters caused by record rainfalls destroyed a bridge along the local highway.

Roy MacDonald, an area manager with the Department of Transportation, said Hornes Road, about 25 kilometres north of Louisbourg, will be closed indefinitely until the bridge and foundation under it is rebuilt.

He said the bridge was completely destroyed and the foundation was "undermined" by the raging flood.

"The likelihood we could use that existing structure is slim," MacDonald told CBC Cape Breton's Information Morning.

Hornes Road connects the communities of Mira Gut and Albert Bridge; anyone wanting to drive from one village to the other can take Brickyard Road as an alternate route.

MacKeigan Road in Marion Bridge, N.S., was completely washed out in the Thanksgiving Day floods. (N.S. Department of Transportation)

MacDonald estimates repairs could cost upwards of $1 million, depending on the amount of concrete needed for bridge abutments and foundation, and what type of bridge will be built.

"Design process is fairly lengthy," said MacDonald, who explained that tendering the project and hiring a contractor also takes time before the project can begin.

That means it could take a few months to well into next year before the job is finished, he said.

MacDonald also noted that MacKeigan Road in Marion Bridge, which was washed out in the Thanksgiving Day storm, will be rebuilt.

A new culvert will be trucked in as early as Friday, and the road will be restored in two to three weeks, depending on the weather, he said.

In the meantime, residents are able to use another secondary road to get to and from their homes.

MacDonald said most of the province's flood-related repair projects are in Cape Breton County, with some work required in Guysborough and Antigonish counties.

The total cost will run between $4 million and $5 million, he said.

With files from Information Morning