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Road washout blocks access to homes for residents in Grande-Digue, N.B.

Residents living along a coastal road in Grande-Digue, New Brunswick say their road is impassable by car after heavy rainfall caused flooding last week and they’re fighting with the province to repair the road surface before the next rainfall hits.

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“Come fix our road because it is a health and safety issue,” said Pierre Bourassa who lives on the Belle-Cote Road in Grande-Digue, N.B.

Bourassa said he has been trying to get the province to pay for repairs to their road for at least 24 months. He said the road is regularly damaged by washouts caused by culverts that do not function properly on Route 530 at the top of his street.

“The water goes over the ditch here because it cannot keep up with what comes off the 530 and goes over our road and it erodes our road,” said Bourassa.

The road is now impassable with anything but a 4-wheel drive, he said, and people living at the base of the road are being forced to park at the top and walk nearly a kilometer to get to their homes.

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“My car won’t make it down — I am afraid to get stuck,” said Lisa Bourque who also owns property on the road.

Shediac Bay-Dieppe MLA Robert Gauvin said that Belle-Cote Road is a non-maintained provincial road which means that the NB Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is not responsible for its upkeep. He said that it is up to residents to pay for road repairs.

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“But if the culverts on the main road are not cleaned properly and the water comes down here it is not the resident’s responsibility,” he said.

Gauvin said that he has been receiving complaints from residents on the road for quite some time and he is worried about people’s safety.

“If somebody has an illness and the ambulance can’t get to the end of the road there could be problems there,” he said.

Residents are calling on the province to upgrade the culverts, clean out the ditches and pay for their road repairs, said Bourassa.

“Help us out so that we don’t have to put all this money into it just for the next storm to wash it out again,” he said.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure said it is not responsible for maintenance of the road but will investigate drainage concerns on Route 530.

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