Sydney’s ‘road to nowhere’ finally opens after 7 years

What was previously referred to as the Path to Nowhere, now offers development opportunities on the former site of the Sydney Steel Mill in Cape Breton, NS

The road leads through the site of the former coke oven. It’s been locked down since it was built seven years ago in a dispute between Nova Scotia and a U.S. railroad company that once had tracks on the property.

The company had refused to allow traffic on the tracks, citing safety issues.

The intersection was expanded and the problem resolved last fall. The road opened to the public as Crawford Crossing in January. It provides a secondary route for traffic to Whitney Pier via Lingan Road.

Much of the land in the region is for sale. (George Mortimer / CBC)

“We designed a road suitable for larger institutional things that would develop in the area, and we built water and sewage in the road,” said Donnie Burke, executive director of environmental analysis and remediation for Nova Scotia Lands , the Provincial Crown Corporation that manages the website.

“It’s there to encourage growth.”

Burke said a number of companies were interested in the country. With the road closed, however, it was not possible to develop the locations.

Donnie Burke said the road was there to encourage growth. (George Mortimer / CBC)

He said they could look for new possible developments now.

“We have a few prospects in the property for some kind of development over time, but it has only opened in the last month or two so let’s weigh our potential and see what could develop,” he said.

“We left it wide open. We didn’t subdivide the properties so when people walk in they can actually plan … what they want to develop.”

Nova Scotia Lands turned to a real estate company for help. Remax Park Place has put a sign on the former steel mill.

Burke said that would give them greater reach in the market. He said they had nearly 80 acres of land available on the coke oven site alone. “The potential for the industrial park itself is limitless. It is [a] large, open strip of land in the middle of the CBRM. “

Burke added, “This land has been used industrially. Thousands of people worked on this site and we hope that one day thousands of people will be able to work here again.”