SUSSEX, N.B. — The Road Builders Association of New Brunswick (RBANB) say they warned the province about the dangers of the Sussex interchange before a fatal accident that claimed four lives.
But the province ignored the safety recommendations one year prior to the accident and nothing was done to improve the deadly interchange, blasts the association.
Jim Hughson, executive director of the RBANB revealed last night that a letter to the ministry outlined concerns that drivers face an abrupt change when they hit the Sussex interchange, after travelling on four-lane highways from Nova Scotia or Point Lepreau.
"And then very abruptly they come to an old two-lane highway and to compound matters, it involved four exits," Hughson tells local media. "We felt it was a safety problem and should be correctedIt was a significant safety hazard, that’s why I wrote it."
A public enquiry into the interchange has been called for by Opposition MLA’s following a Nov. 18 accident where a vehicle left the road and came to rest among memorials to the victims of a fatal bush crash in the spring.
Transportation Minister Percy Mockler, has downplayed the significance of the letter.
"It’s not abnormal to receive such letters," Mockler tells local media. He adds that the highway and interchange meet all provincial and national safety guidelines.
But local residents are calling for at the very least additional signage and rumble strips. The ramp at the interchange is slated to be replaced in 2004.
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