Cobequid pass remains closed

Published on December 4, 2013

AMHERST – Heavy snow and slushy roads have led to the ongoing closure of the Cobequid Pass between Thomson Station in Cumberland County and Masstown in Colchester.

RCMP closed the highway early this morning after vehicles became stuck near the toll plaza in both the east and westbound lanes.

"The highway is closed until further notice while we work to clear vehicles from the highway," Const. Travise Dow of the Cumberland RCMP said early Wednesday. "In the eastbound lane we have vehicles backed up to Exit 7."

Crews from the Department of Transportation are also on the scene working to remove vehicles blocking the highway.

Robb Miller, who works at the Stanfield International Airport and lives in Oxford, has been stuck on the highway since about 5:30 a.m.

"From what I can see no one is going anywhere anytime soon," Miller said. "It's going to take awhile to clean up this mess."

Miller said he ran into snow at the bottom of the pass at about 5 a.m. Conditions worsened as he made his way to the toll plaza. He said he passed several tractor trailers stuck on the highway between Great Village and the toll plaza before coming to a stop.

"It's pretty boring actually, thankfully I have my cellphone with me and I've been talking to people on Facebook," Miller said.

Dow is not sure when the highway will reopen, but is advising motorists to stay away from the Cobequid Pass. On the Cumberland County side, traffic is being rerouted through the Wentworth Valley.

The highway was closed for several hours last night after four tractor trailers were involved in a collision just before the toll plaza. Dow said the vehicles were travelling close together and ran into each other in heavy fog and rain.

There was one non-life-threatening injury in that mishap.

Dow said the highway was reopened to one lane overnight before being closed again when a couple of vehicles slid off the road causing traffic to back up.

"Once you had a couple of cars off the road it caused traffic to backup. Now we're trying to keep people off the road," Dow said.

All schools are closed in Cumberland County today.

Rain turned to snow early this morning, making travelling treacherous in blowing snow and slippery roads.

Just over 2,000 households in Cumberland County were also without power this morning.

The Confederation Bridge connecting New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island is also closed to  high-sided vehicles because of high winds through the Northumberland Strait.