'You have to hit 3 potholes to avoid 1': Cape Breton cabbie calls for highway fix
'It's the first time in about 20 years I've been scared in a car,' David Vaters says
Some Cape Bretoners say the potholes are worse than ever on the highway in and around Reserve Mines.
One driver is calling on the province for quick action after his car went off the road on Wednesday.
Taxi driver David Vaters, 37, said his car sailed into the woods after hitting a bad pothole on Reserve Street between Reserve Mines and Glace Bay.
Vaters said it's almost impossible to miss the craters.
"From the minute you hit the 50 [km/h] zone until you hit McKays Corner, you have to hit three potholes to avoid one," he said. "You've got to hope you hit the small pothole."
Vaters said he has been on dirt roads that are in better shape than the highway around Reserve Mines.
"We have to keep our cars roadworthy. Why doesn't the government have to keep the roads carworthy?" he said.
Vaters said he was sore after the crash, but he was lucky no bones were broken.
"I actually felt the back end of the car come up in the air like it was going to roll," he said.
"It's the first time in about 20 years I've been scared in a car."
Vaters said heavy trucks, including coal trucks from the Donkin mine, are tearing up the highway and he wants the province to fix the road permanently.
"Where I crashed, coal trucks can't be blamed for that," Vaters said.
"Those coal trucks, they enter this road further up, and the road where they enter is absolutely destroyed."
Long-term fix may take years, says province
Cody Roland, area manager for the provincial Transportation Department, said increased traffic in the area and heavy trucks from the mine are causing more damage than usual.
He said the province has used cold patches to fill potholes in the winter, but crews are now filling the potholes with recycled asphalt to try to make them last till spring.
Roland said a long-term solution for Grand Lake Road in Reserve Mines and Reserve Street heading into Glace Bay may take years.
"We do have plans to in the spring do some more patching to hopefully have something there that holds up for a few years at least and obviously we're going to try to sit down here and see if possibly repaving the road may be the best option here at some point in the future," he said.
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With files from Gary Mansfield