A by-pass in the western end of Queens County isn't sitting well with residents of the area, and has sparked a petition to the provincial government
People in the area are happy the by-pass is finally becoming a reality, says Campbell. However the way the communities are being cut up is creating the concern. .
Dirk van Loon presented a petition with 100 signatures on behalf of the residents from the area, calling for the provincial government to change the plan.
What they would like to see is an exit on either end of the bypass, one close to Port Mouton/Broad River and the other on the Western side of Port Joli. That would leave route three intact as a full bypass.
As the plan stands now, when the first phase is finished, the entrance to Port Joli and Port L'hebert on the western side will be cut off, as well as a through route to Port Mouton. There will only be one way in and out of the area, through an exit on the new highway.
In Port Mouton, the highway at broad river will be diverted away from that entrance to the community. The road will then be connected to Route three to Summerville. A highway exit to Port Mouton will be put in a few kilometres further down the road.
A second phase would see Port Mouton and Port Joli reconnected when the bypass is fully finished. Later on when the highway is upgraded in Shelburne County, an exit to Port Joli on the western end is planned, according to the Department of Transportation. There are no timelines for this construction.
Residents are worried they will have to wait for years before the communities are rejoined.
The original plan was to leave another entrance to both communities on both sides. However in Port Joli there were environmental concerns that prevented a second exit, and safety concerns for another in Port Mouton.
There are many flaws people see in the plan as it stands, says Campbell. As a volunteer with the West Queens First Responders, he says it would add another five or six minutes to respond to a call in the Port Joli side. An accident on the highway would also still mean the highway would be closed with no by-pass until the accident is cleared
As a business owner, he sees it bypassing him completely. Campbell owns the Seascape Restaurant, which also has a convenience store. He says with no way to travel straight through Port Mouton, tourists will likely just keep going until they find a community with easier access. Other businesses have raised similar concerns, he says.
They also see a problem with tourism as well. The Thomas Raddall Park and Kejimkujki Seaside are both in the Port Joli side of the expansion. There is only one way in and out, and most of the difficult turns will have to be navigated twice if they want to travel from there.
Campbell says he has spoken with Vicki Conrad, but was told there was nothing she could do. Conversations with the Department of Transportation have ended in a similar way, he says.
MLA Vicki Conrad says she was surprised when she received the petition. Since the plan was unveiled, she says only two or three phone calls have come in with concerns.
To help alliviate concerns, she says a meeting is planned in February with the Region of Queens Council and stakeholders within the community.