Cleaning up mudslides in Margaree

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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Crew from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal inspects the second mudslide in as many days April 16 on a stretch of the Cabot Trail highway about one kilometre outside Margaree Forks. One lane of the road remains open for traffic.

TC MEDIA

Traffic is expected flow as usual after no further mudslide activity was reported overnight along a section of the Cabot Trail recently blocked by falling mud and rock.

"They are hoping to have the road and the area cleaned up by noon (Thursday) and they should be able to open up both lanes by then as well," said Pam Menchenton of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

Transportation crews have been on scene since Tuesday when the first mudslide occurred. They had just finished cleaning up the mess from the first slide, which covered half of the road, when it happened again Wednesday afternoon.

However, Menchenton said there has been no further mudslide activity to hamper cleanup efforts.

No one was hurt as mud and rock rushed down the embankment about 15 metres along a stretch of roadway, about one kilometre from Margaree Forks.

Transportation department crews stayed at the site overnight and the road has been open to one-lane traffic only, with traffic control in place.

Nova Scotia Power crews had also been called in to ensure the area is safe before debris was cleared from the road.

The area is being closely monitored because rapid freeze-and-thaw conditions along with moist ground increases the chance of mudslides.

The department plans to conduct an investigation in the next few days on the stability of the embankment.

"Engineers are going to assess the embankment there just to really test the integrity of that embankment and whether or not this could happen again. From there whatever they find out that will drive the solution."

During the first mudslide, work on removing mud and rock from the road Tuesday was delayed until a power crew could disconnect live wires.

Power was out to more than 800 customers in the area as repairs were completed.

Organizations: Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Margaree

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