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TIR official says Causeway delay issues being addressed

A local MLA says he's satisfied with steps to address issues at the Canso Causeway.

Allan MacMaster, the Tory MLA for Inverness, says he raised the topic during Question Period and budget estimates as part of the fall session of the provincial Legislature because it was a hot topic in the summer.

He says Lloyd Hines, the province's transportation minister and the MLA for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie, has said members of a special working group will investigate problems with the Canso Canal swing bridge opening and closing.

MacMaster tells The Hawk he hopes delays won't be a problem once work is done.

"I'm hopeful that the group can address the bugs that are in the new system that's been installed to open and close the swing bridge," he says. "I'm hopeful that they will get to the bottom of whatever needs to be fixed soon so that people aren't experiencing these sort of delays."

MacMaster says members of the group will also review traffic congestion at the rotary in Port Hastings.

He says he's satisfied it's being taken seriously, but it can't be forgotten until it's fixed.

MacMaster says it's difficult not knowing what to prepare for in terms of travelling in the area.

"I'm hopeful that it will play some role in rectifying the situation so that people don't have to experience the frequency of delays and the uncertainty of traveling."

Gerard Jessome, the district director for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, says group members are reviewing all issues.

He says a senior manager, project engineer and field experts are all working to resolve the issues, and they'll also review vehicle traffic delays near the Causeway when the bridge is stuck open for marine traffic.

Jessome says things seem to be better now.

"It was a new system that we installed on the bridge- the automated, the operation of the bridge," he says. "There (were) some issues with some components- we exchanged those components and replaced them, (and) so far things have been working very, very well."

Jessome says team members are working on improvements moving forward, so they can react quicker if any more issues come up.

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