Posted Feb 15th 2012 10:35AM
Not only is it hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but New Brunswick officials are discovering that it is hard to convince drivers that saving a bit of time isn't worth risking their lives.
Called the Hillbilly Highway by locals, a five kilometer stretch of the Kennebecasis River is turned into an ice highway each year by independent operators who plow the way across the river. It is said that the route can save motorists up to half an hour when compared to taking a ferry that is further along the river. The problem is that in a mild Winter, the ice is unpredictable which equals unsafe.
Driver Christopher Raynes got his truck stuck on the road on February 12 so he called his Father to give him a tow. Moments after the elder man arrived, his truck fell in a hole in the ice. The man and his dog narrowly escaped as the truck was fully submerged in under 30 seconds, sinking to the bottom of the 50 metre deep waterway.
Because the road is unsafe and unofficial, it is not patrolled by local police. Likewise, the Department of Transportation has no jurisdiction to close the road, as it isn't an actual road.
Joining the Kingston Peninsula to Saint John, the route has been used for trade for an estimated 200 years, as Loyalists moved cargo along the river in Summer and on top of the river once the ice came.
Hit the jump to see video of the road in action and hear what some locals have to say about it.
News Source: CBC