May 2, 2019 4:50 pm
Updated: May 3, 2019 1:55 pm

N.B. government considering ways to flood-proof Trans-Canada: transportation minister

Damage assessment is being done on Trans-Canada highway following flood.

Morganne Campbell/Global News

The New Brunswick government is looking at ways to flood-proof the Trans-Canada Highway after it was closed for nearly a week when floodwaters spilled onto the busy stretch of road.

The closure landlocked some rural residents, including the transportation minister.

“I can tell you it is tough because I’m one of those people who got stranded,” explained Bill Oliver.

READ MORE: Section of Trans-Canada Highway could reopen soon following damage assessment

The highway is managed and maintained by MRDC Operations Corporation. The province says it’s working with the company to assess damage and determine what steps should be taken to protect the highway.

It’s a two-and-a-half kilometre stretch of road that the transportation minister says will be moved up higher on the Progressive Conservative’s priority list.

“That’s why we’re certainly moving it up and taking it much more serious. It would have been nice if it was one in 100 years, but now we know the reality,” added Oliver.

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Cambridge Narrows is a picturesque little Village that straddles the Washedemoak Lake and the Canaan River. The detour to Fredericton added nearly an hour when the highway closed and left about 700 residents landlocked.

“A lot of people didn’t work that live out here that do work in Fredericton, those people were out of work,” explains Blair Cummings, the mayor of the village.

READ MORE: Flooded out and need a ride? Just call New Brunswick’s ‘Uber Rob’

In the meantime, the province says it has budgeted the money needed to raise Darlings Island Road near Saint John. The road ends up under water when the Kennebecasis River and Hampton Marshes flood, leaving residents stranded.

This year, two boats operated by the Department of Natural Resources ferried people back and forth. The project will head to the estimates committee next week.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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