Mulgrave digs in for action on Exit 40 at Auld’s Cove

By Helen Murphy    
December 4 2019

MULGRAVE – The Town of Mulgrave is reaching out to neighbouring municipalities for support in its fight for changes to make Exit 40, the access point to Mulgrave from the Trans Canada at Auld’s Cove, safer. The exit is across from the Irving gas station and Circle K store.

At Monday night’s regular meeting, council agreed to send letters to neighbouring municipalities to encourage them to write letters of support on the issue to the provincial Minister of Transportation. In an interview Tuesday, Mulgrave CAO Darlene Berthier Sampson said the Municipality of the District of Guysborough has already been supportive on the matter, including expressing its concern to government.

Mulgrave has been lobbying for action in recent months, reaching out to government and the private sector for support, because of the number of close calls at the exit.

“Near misses continue to happen,” she said. “We’ve been talking to the Irvings and the provincial government and the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Assoc.”

The town has been told that the province is looking into the concerns and Berthier Sampson said she understands that video cameras have been set up to observe the traffic flow there.

“(The province) received evidence that there are concerning spots there and a study is planned,” she said. “And the Irvings were very quick to respond and will look at whether the execution of the site was according to the design and if so, were there any issues with design.”

The president of the Trucking Assoc. assured the town that trucking companies and fleets will be alerted to the safety concerns around Exit 40, she said.

“Every time we bring it up at council there are additional suggestions from the gallery, so the public at large is very engaged in getting a solution to this,” said Berthier Sampson.

In other business, council discussed policing stats for Mulgrave from 2017 and 2018. The CAO said there were no drug offences reported for those two years and incidents in other categories had been cut in half.

“That was really great to see for the town,” she said.

Regarding the RFP issued to construct a new wastewater treatment facility, the town recently learned that it is required to consult with the First Nation community of Paq’tnkek, as well as an organization in Halifax involved with Indigenous land rights. Berthier Sampson said this process should be concluded soon. The contract, once awarded, includes decommissioning the old facility.