The head of a local service district north of Moncton is expressing disappointment in a provincial government plan to install rumble strips on sections of Route 11.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Wednesday that it will add shoulder and centre-line rumble strips to two sections of the two-lane highway, totalling 27 kilometres, between Miramichi and Bouctouche.
Rumble strips are grooves in the pavement that create vibrations and noise to help alert drivers if their vehicles are leaving their lane of traffic.
“This is the first time centerline rumble strips will be installed on two-lane highways in the province,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green said in a news release. “Other jurisdictions have successfully implemented them, and this will provide us with an opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness.”
Wellington LSD president Claude LeBlanc believes the highway needs to be twinned after years of increased traffic and fatal collisions.
He said rumble strips will help, but they won’t be effective enough to resolve the issues.
“That isn’t going to stop moose crossing the road,” he said. “That’s not going to stop head-on collisions. That’s not going to stop it. Those are the reasons why that we’re getting frustrated because that highway, in my mind, I think it’s the busiest highway in the province of New Brunswick.
“We’re well past due. We need a twinned highway between Moncton and Miramichi, for sure.”
LeBlanc also said a twinned highway would help the economy, especially in rural New Brunswick, as improved traffic flow and lower property taxes will encourage people to move outside of urban centres.
A plan was unveiled in 2017 to twin the highway from Moncton to Miramichi, but that plan was gutted when a new Progressive Conservative government took office in New Brunswick a year later.
LeBlanc said communities and LSDs will continue to push the government to put money aside for an eventual twinning plan.