Bridge over troubled truckers

CHARLOTTETOWN — Atlantic truckers want a truckstop built to accommodate truckers stranded during prolonged closures of the Confederation Bridge.

The bridge frequently closes to high-sided vehicles when it gets too windy at the PEI-New Brunswick border, which is sort of like saying when seafood is on the menu at restaurants around here.

This past weekend, over a 100 transport trucks were idled along the road on both sides of the bridge for 52 hours — reportedly the longest delay in the history of the bridge — due to winds gusting over 100 km/h from Friday to Sunday.

Northumberland Ferries, connecting P.E.I. with Nova Scotia, also stopping running.

According to The CBC, Shane Esson, of Keltic Transport and chair of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, wants governments to recognize the lack of parking areas leading up the to bridge.

There’s a small parking lot about five kilometres from the bridge on the New Brunswick side but it’s hardly enough, says Esson.

Truckers say delays could have been avoided if transport trucks were allowed to drive one way across the bridge, allowing them room to sway.

But Michel Le Chasseur, general manager of the Confederation Bridge, says that would not have been safe. In fact, engineers came to the conclusion that driving one-way down the middle is actually worse.

According to CBC, some stores ran low on supplies as shopkeepers waited for shipments. 

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