Nova Scotia

Waverley Road detour expected to cause headaches this summer

Residents of Waverley are in for a long summer. Construction began this week on a section of Waverley Road that means people in Waverley need to take a long detour if they need to get to their neighboring community of Fall River. The work is not expected to be done until mid August.

Road work was supposed to leave one lane open, but both lanes will shut until mid-August

Traffic cones and detour signs close off a paved road.
A section of Waverley Road near Fall River will be closed for at least five weeks. (CBC)

Residents of Waverley, N.S., are facing a lot of extra driving this summer as work on a section of Waverley Road forces locals to take a long detour if they need to get to the neighbouring community of Fall River.

The road work is expected to take until mid-August.

"This is a major artery for me because I live right here [south of the road closure]," said Waverley resident Michael Drummond. "They expect me to go this way every time? I can't even go to Sobeys now."

Drummond is one of many residents who are furious with the lengthy detour forcing drivers to go south before picking up Highway 107 to go north to Fall River.

"They expect me to go all the way around, thirty kilometres or whatever it is," said Drummond. "Who's paying my gas for that, the city?"

Shoring up road

Halifax Regional Municipality is replacing deteriorating guide rails and a retaining wall, as well as applying road embankment erosion protection at various locations along Waverley Road.

The twisty, narrow road hugs the shoreline of Lake Thomas, Lake William and Lake Charles as it winds its way from Fall River into Dartmouth.

"It's going to impact me a lot because normally each day I would head in to the grocery store for something," said Trevor Young, who lives south of the road blockage. "Now we have to go all the way into Dartmouth, so it will be a lot more gas and a lot more time."

A map shows the detour route.
This map shows the impassable section of Waverley Road, and the detour around it. (Submitted by Halifax Regional Municipality)

Waverley residents travel into Fall River for just about everything, including a number of daycare operations.

The Cheema Aquatic Club in Waverley has dozens of kids enrolled in summer programs. Many of them live on the other side of the detour.

"It's two trips a day and normally that's about a seven-minute drive for me, but now it's about 35 minutes round trip," said Dave Carroll, who has two boys who attend the paddling club. "We have to head back into Dartmouth all the way to Montague Road and then take Highway 107 to Highway 118 out to Fall River just to get to the club."

Numerous Waverley residents who spoke with CBC say they were blindsided by the road closure and the repairs. Halifax Regional Municipality sent out a public service announcement last week. Residents also received letters informing them of the upcoming work.

"My understanding is even HRM staff thought the road was going to be able to remain open," said Cathy Deagle Gammon, the councillor for the area. 

"But when Dexter Construction was awarded the contract and said due to the size of the equipment and building the retaining wall, the road is just too narrow to accommodate one lane staying open."

A yellow line holds a long mesh net in the water near a paved road shoulder.
Part of the work to be done over the next five weeks is road embankment erosion protection. (CBC)

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With files from Simon Smith

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