More in store to make Digby area ATV trails safer and more accessible

Published on April 6, 2017

Pilot projects granting some access to highways for off-highway vehicles are just one project in store to improve driving conditions in the Digby County area.

©Karla Kelly photo

DIGBY, NS - A new overpass over Highway 101 in Marshalltown and a new bridge over Wentworth River outside Weymouth will soon be built for all-terrain vehicle usage.

This news follows the recent announcement of Weymouth’s pilot project, which will connect two ATV trails together.

President of Sou’west Nova ATV Association and ATV Association of Nova Scotia Zone 1 director / liaison Kevin Lombard is thrilled so much is happening for the sport in Digby County.

ATVANS and the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia purchased over 100 panels from Halifax’s Big Lift project. The panels are 16 to 32 feet long, and will be installed as a bridge over Wentworth River near Belliveau’s Cove. Lombard says it will benefit mountain bikers, horseback riders, hikers and all of those who want to use it.

“This is going to be quite the project, and we’re really excited about,” he says.

Digby County ATV Club president Keith Comeau says another project is also slated for Digby in June. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will close a section of trail in Marshalltown next to the Kwikway for three weeks in June in order to build an overpass, allowing ATVs and other off-highway vehicles to travel over the highway, rather than on it.

These, along with the pilot project beginning in September that will connect two trails in Weymouth formerly connected by a bridge, have long been awaited.

Comeau says the project will unite the old railroad trail through Weymouth to the next railroad trail on the other side, and will cover about a kilometre and a half of road.

He says this controversial stretch has been a known-issue to the public and government as well.

“I know since Gordon Wilson got in, he’s really been working hard on it. People in general have been at this now since ATVs have been around. Even when the bridge was there, everything was tight when I went across,” says Comeau.

These projects are promising, but frustrations still exist. Many people have voiced their doubts that legalizing the short section in Weymouth will make conditions safer, but Lombard believes it will.

“People will be accountable now,” he says, “and will have to obey a speed limit. If they speed it’ll impact their license record.”

“People drive recklessly right now. They dart across the highway because they’re scared of getting caught, and so this being legal now will change that.”