SUSSEX, N.B. — The controversial highway ramp here is once again under the microscope following another accident.
On Saturday afternoon two people suffered minor injuries when their car skidded off the tightly curling ramp from Route 1 to the Fredericton-bound lanes on the former Trans-Canada Highway.
“I believe that speed was an issue,” says RCMP Staff Sgt. David Brown.
The design of the ramp, scheduled for replacement in 2004, has drawn fire since an April bus crash that killed four U.S. students. While the ramp has a speed limit of 70 km/hr, a cautionary speed of 30 km/hr is given for the hairpin turn to the right.
An overpass blocks the view of the turn for approaching drivers, so its sharp bend can catch them by surprise.
“Strangers don’t know what to expect,” says Oscar Conway of Sussex. “They almost think they’re going back onto a four-lane. You can’t see where you’re travelling and all of a sudden you are into it.”
Conway’s suggestion is that rumble strips be gouged out of the highway to slow vehicles down before they enter the ramp.
Transportation Minister Percy Mockler says he’s open to the idea as a safety improvement at the site, however, his department will wait until the RCMP completes its investigation, and until his department stages one of its own, before deciding whether such a step is warranted.
“If the results of the investigations show rumble strips should be considered then they will be considered,” concludes Mockler.
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