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Ocean overflow on Sherose Island Causeway a safety concern

Barrington council wants TIR to address issue

The Municipality of Barrington feels it is time that the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Renewal (TIR) address the ongoing issue of ocean overflow onto the Sherose Island Road.

At its Jan. 28 meeting, council voted unanimously in favour of writing a letter to TIR expressing their concerns about seaweed and other debris being washed up onto the Sherose Island Road during full course tides and stormy weather, requesting them to take action to address what they are calling a safety matter.

“We have had multiple complaints about it from residents on there and concerns,” said Warden Eddie Nickerson.

The problem isn’t new, he said. “It dates back awhile, probably seven or eight years” since it was first brought up and is an issue that has been raised with TIR several times, said Nickerson. “We feel it’s time it should be addressed.”

Nickerson said council feels the part of the road that is a causeway connecting Sherose Island to Barrington Passage is too low now, with the increasing height of the tides that’s coming in there. Whether that’s from rising sea levels or infilling over the years, from the blockage of tidal action by the Cape Sable Island Causeway, or something else, isn’t known.

Whatever the cause, “the water is pretty much level with the road there on stormy days and full course tides,” said Nickerson. “Any amount of wind the water will pretty much cover the road.”

Nickerson estimated the ocean overflows onto the road three to five times a year, creating hazardous driving conditions, especially at night.

The municipality’s Public Works crew has gone out and cleaned the roadway of debris on several occasions, said Nickerson.

“Logs, seaweed, tree stumps, a ton of different debris and we’ve called highways and they’ve gone there and plowed it back too,” he said.

Sherose Island is not only a residential area, it is also home to the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena, the Barrington Regional Curling Club and the Barrington Municipal Recreation Center.

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