The province has received preliminary recommendations from Opus International on the Cobequid Pass safety review. Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott ordered the review after a large number of vehicles were stranded on the pass during a severe winter storm in November. “Over the coming weeks, we will review the recommendations, and develop action plans and budgets,” said Mr. Scott. “These recommendations will serve as an important tool as we continue to take steps to improve winter safety on, not only the Cobequid Pass, but all roads in our province.” The report made recommendations in a number of areas such as communication with motorists, road signs and markers, road closure implementation and maintenance operations. They include ensuring that each year all equipment and personnel assigned to winter maintenance activities on the pass are mobilized by Nov. 1, investigating the possibility of issuing web alerts to subscribers by text message to alert them of changing road conditions or closures, ensuring up to date weather information is available at the toll booths, providing additional maintenance crossovers to improve access to stuck vehicles, and conducting a user survey to determine the need for rest areas and facilities. In addition to the safety review, immediate steps that have already been taken include installing CB radios on plows on the Cobequid Pass, adding digital signs to inform motorists of adverse weather, and assembling emergency kits that could be distributed to stranded drivers. The preliminary recommendations are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/tran . The full report is expected by the end of January.