One couldn’t help thinking about the famous Soup Nazi episode of the Jerry Seinfeld Show when listening to the Honourable Tom Hedderson, the provincial Minister of Transportation and Works in a recent interview with the Coaster.
In that episode the Soup Nazi, as Elaine liked to call him, took special delight in yelling ‘No Soup For You!’ to the customers who displeased him for one reason or another.
And now, Minister Hedderson is saying ‘No Road Work For You in 2012!’ on the sections of Route 360 voted the worst roads in Atlantic Canada.
According to Minister Hedderson, no major roadwork will be done on the two sections of route 360 that were voted the worst roads in Atlantic Canada in a Canadian Automobile Association survey held earlier this year.
The two sections of highway in question are the 30 km from Harbour Breton out to the Pool’s Cove turn-off, voted the worst road, and a section near Milltown, which was voted the third worst in Atlantic Canada.
Now, we realize that the sky is not the limit when it comes to allocations for roadwork in our province. And we know too that nearly everyone and his dog is crying out for road upgrades.
However, for these local roads to be voted the worst and third worst in Atlantic Canada and to have them almost totally neglected in 2012 is shocking to say the least.
Minister Hedderson said that about $8 million has been spent on roadwork in Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune since 2006 or so and that we are doing ‘pretty good’ when compared to other regions of he province.
While that may be true, these roads in question have been in a deplorable condition for a number of years now.
The 30 km from Harbour Breton out to the Pool’s Cove turn-off is like something out of a war zone and really needs major upgrading.
As Harbour Breton Mayor Eric Skinner has pointed out, this road is more than just an unpleasant ride now as it has become unsafe as motorists weave back and forth trying to avoid the worst parts of the road.
That section of road has a heavy volume of traffic especially from the aquaculture industry. In addition, a large number of people in the Coast of Bays use that road in travelling to Harbour Breton for medical appointments, for banking, for car work and other services.
So, it’s not just the residents of Harbour Breton who travel over that particular section of highway.
Yes, and we realize that it’s nice to have the Trans Canada Highway in good shape. But the trunk roads used in getting to the Trans Canada, and home again, should be in decent shape as well.
If there’s a silver lining in this it might be that Minister Hedderson said that he is fully aware of the local road situation in the Coast of Bays and that the government will seriously address this issue in the next two to three years.
One should realize that the Minister of Transportation has a tough job in pleasing everyone in the province when it comes to roadwork.
However, let’s hope he is true to his word and that the sections of Route 360 in question will finally be upgraded before the next provincial election.