BERRY MILLS, N.B. — The Homestead Road may not sound like Moncton’s link to the rest of Canada and in fact it’s not anymore — but it once was.
When the new four-lane Moncton to Fredericton highway was completed last year, this old stretch of two-lane highway became a secondary connector route between Moncton and communities to the west, such as River Glade.
Despite the fact most truckers and tourist knew route as a highway, the rebadged road doesn’t have a number, simply a sign that says, ‘Homestead Road.’
The problem is, you won’t find any signs along upper Mountain Road pointing to it, and a lone sign located along the Berry Mills Road leading up to it also seems to give the wrong compass reading.
Department of Transport district engineer Robert Boudreau says there is a simple explanation, although you won’t find it on the maps. When the new highway opened nearby, the old highway was blocked off and an exit/access route built at Magnetic Hill hooking onto Ensley Drive, a short stretch of street beside the McDonald’s Restaurant outlet.
But instead of simply naming all of the highway Homestead Road, the stretch from Ensley as far as Lutes Mountain turnoff towards Route 126 is also designated as part of Route 126.
The intent was to have all commercial vehicles use that stretch of road instead of continuing along Mountain Road past Magnetic Hill and residential houses, says Boudreau.
The matter is further confused by the fact that the old TCH beyond the turnoff to Route 126 is now an extension of Route 128, the Berry Mills Road. The changes also coincided with the introduction of 911 numbering across the province, he explains.
Boudreau says the Homestead Road begins at the overpass at Berry Mills a few kilometres west of the city and continues west to River Glade where it meets up with Route 106 which leads to Salisbury. River Glade is about 24km west of Moncton.
The decision not to erect more indicator signs is partly due to additional costs and partly to avoid total confusion. There’s too much signage already according to some people, he insists.
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