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Albert County tourism operators plead with N.B. government to fix damaged road

Click to play video: 'Residents of N.B. community want cracked, potholed road fixed' Residents of N.B. community want cracked, potholed road fixed
WATCH: Businesses in New Brunswick are preparing to kick off the tourism season this May long weekend, but in the southeast part of the province, there’s concern that poor road conditions between the seaside tourist village of Alma and Moncton may deter some visitors. Suzanne Lapointe explains. – May 20, 2022

Alma business owner Jane Chrysostom believes Route 114 is in the roughest shape she’s ever seen.

“This has been the worst I’ve seen it and my family has been here since the ’70s,” she told Global News on Friday.

Chrysostom owns a bed and breakfast as well as a book store in the seaside tourist village in Albert County, located near the entrance of Fundy National Park.

She said other Alma business owners are hoping to see visitors flock in during the May long weekend, which typically kicks off tourist season.

“We’re worried. As we see cars coming in we see them coming slowly, we see them coming with furrowed brows because it’s been quite an adventure for them to get here,” she said.

The road between Alma and Moncton consists of a narrow two-lane highway without much shoulder space. It’s riddled with potholes, breaks in the pavement and washouts. A February rainstorm eroded parts of the road, making it even more treacherous for motorists.

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Read more: New Brunswick’s Route 114 reopens to traffic after 2.5 months

Lights have been installed on several stretches of the highway to guide drivers through particularly narrow stretches.

Phyllis Sutherland of the Fundy Tourism Association said on Friday that the lights have frustrated some Albert County residents as they significantly slow their commute to Moncton.

“There’s only one lane because the road has totally eroded on the right side, so the road on the left side is a bit larger than one lane,” she said, referring to a particularly bad stretch of road.

Sutherland is calling on the provincial government for help.

Read more: N.B. tourism sector ‘cautiously optimistic’ inflation and fuel prices won’t diminish season

The province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure told Global News an emergency tender issued to repair damage caused by February’s heavy flooding closed on Friday, and repairs are expected to take six weeks.

The department “will also be doing work on the shoulder of the highway and minor surface repairs along a two-kilometre stretch of Route 114 near Alma.”

It added that 10 construction projects are anticipated to be tendered “in the next two years, pending approvals, permits, and other factors associated with project development.”

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