Road conditions hindering development, says chamber president

Harry Sullivan
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DEBERT - Development of the Debert Air Industrial Park would occur much faster if road conditions there were improved, the president of the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce believes.
"The asphalt leading in and out of the park has been patched and re-patched numerous times," Jim Lorraine said. "A lot of these roads were built for the army base back in the '40s and, certainly, that's what they're geared up for. They're geared up for light-duty trucks, not the tractor-trailors that are in there today."
Lorraine believes road improvements are required for the "hundreds of trucks going in and out of there everyday ...," but also to help attract new business to the expanding business park just outside Truro.
That is especially so, he said, in light of construction of the Melford International Terminal being constructed in the Strait of Canso. With business expected to flow from that container terminal within the next couple of years, he said, the Debert Industrial Park must be prepared if it hopes to win business from there.
"Were looking at that Melford terminal coming on side and the potential of having an in-land distribution centre in Debert, or any other activities that spin off from Melford," Lorraine said. "We have to be in position now. If you try to do it once everything comes on side, you're too late. And, I guess that's our perspective."
As well, with other infrastructure investments - such as sewer upgrades - that have been made along with the numbers of people already employed at the business park, it only makes sense, Lorraine said, to ensure the roads are in good order.
"There's a lot of infrastructure dollars out there right now ... there's things like that that we have to tap into now, while it's available, to position ourselves down the road."
Former Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MLA Brooke Taylor, who resumed his trucking career after retiring from politics last year, agrees wholeheartedly with Lorraine's position.
"Jim is right on the button," he said. "The roads are just horrendous in that area."
A prime example, he added, is the road leading into the Sobeys and Home Hardware depots, which is one of the worst he travels.
"It's certainly in need of big-time improvements," Taylor said.
Patricia Jreige, a spokeswoman with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, said officials have received a letter from Lorraine outlining his concerns and will be making recommendations to address them in the near future.
"As it stands now, our staff are reviewing the letter and the options," she said.

Organizations: Melford International Terminal, Truro and District Chamber of Commerce, Sobeys Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Geographic location: DEBERT, Debert Air Industrial Park, Truro

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Recent comments

  • Ruth
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    It's strange that Mr. Taylor complains about the roads in the Debert area being in such horrendous condition and that they went that way in such a short length of time. There was nothing done to them except patching while he was in power in government and we didn't hear him doing any complaining about it at that time. Now he thinks the NDP government should be able to fix the problems in one season that have been going on for years. I guess that must be a glowing endorsement of the NDP for them to be expected to fix the roads that need to be fixed in one season where the Conservatives couldn't do it in the number of seasons they were in power.