Nova Scotia Roads - Trunk Route 4/old TCH 104

(former TCH 104)

All photos are EB except for three. Two of them come up right away, and one is at the end.

Trunk 4 begins at TCH 104 Exit 7, but that statement was rather inaccurate for many years until TCH 104 was constructed east of there itself. Until then, TCH 104 came this way as far as Exit 12, which is why you have old BGS's with patches on them (probably, judging from the width, two shields without a "TO" between them, but there's no way to know). You also have tall poles where there were exit numbers - these would have been Exit 7 because there was no exit at Birchwood where 4 now begins.

Greenville Rd. NB at the NS 368 intersection. Obviously these signs were never intended to be interpreted as "to" TCH 104.

Same place, WB direction (but taken while driving east).

Just east of the intersection; the first digits were apparently fine but the last digits are not. Was there a conversion problem when the metric system was implemented in the 1970s? Was this sign moved eastward by a kilometer at some point? (Any more than that, and the 38 would turn over to a number in the 40s.)

Across the Wallace River to East Mines Station, where a railroad spans Trunk 4 and the Folly River. The two intermediate signs are others that obviously date to the TCH 104 days - the first (one of many similar) read 100 underneath the 80 until the highway moved to a new, dualized alignment, and the second is a little less accurate now that most vehicles of any sort are over on TCH 104. One thing that bothers me, though - did the highway really get 20 km/h less safe just by becoming a Trunk Route, or are there legislative shenanigans at play? Stephen Brogan confirms the latter to be the case - private interests in running the new toll road (104) succeeded in making the old free road (4) as unattractive to motorists as possible to maximize their revenue. Shenanigans!

Trunk Routes 4 and 2 run together after this point in Glenholme, former Exit 11 on TCH 104. Unlike the other old signs, this one had a wooden frame behind it. You'll have to switch pages via the big link at bottom to see photos from there, including another relic of the TCH 104 days on Trunk 4.

Trunk 4 appears to leave Trunk 2 in Truro by following NS 311 on Prince St. to Queen St., where the excessive number of green arrows on either side of the road allow the routes to turn left onto Walker St. They then cross the arch bridge to Bible Hill. This entire time, and for much of its ride with Trunk 2, Trunk 4 has been silent with no signs heralding its presence. It almost made me wonder if Trunk 4 exists in Truro at all or if it now bypasses the city...

And then magically, at Pictou Rd., signage resumes where Trunk 4 leaves NS 311. Clearly, Trunk 4 West would be signed straight ahead if it did follow some sort of bypass, so either it goes through Truro or there's a disconnect in the legislated highway. I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it ends at TCH 104 Exit 12 and reappears here with no definition between the two points, except for a stray Trunk 4 shield or two on the intermediate path.

Continuing past TCH 104 Exits 17 and 19, missing a Trans-Canada Highway shield. The Manganese Mines sign is at East Mountain Rd.

NS 289 is along in the first photo, and then joined by NS 348 SB in the second photo at the bottom of a one-way pair in New Glasgow. On newer signs, the shields are part of the sign instead of affixed to the front. On the newer shield in the center of the assembly, the maple leaf lacks any definition (points instead of curves, please) and uses the wrong font. I think the banner is too small, too.

Looking south on NS 348 at what could be the oldest sign on this page.

At TCH 104 Exit 27A, where the old Trunk 4 clearly continued straight down this stub and followed what's now the TCH 104 alignment for a kilometer or two. This happens a few times in rural central Nova Scotia, where there are no driveways for extended lengths and thus no need to bypass the old road.

Approaching Trunk 4/TCH 104 from the end of NS 245 WB in Sutherlands River. Exit 27 is becoming a grade-separated interchange at TCH 104, where Trunk 4 leaves it on the far (south) side and continues east. There are plenty more photos on the TCH 104 page, linked at bottom.

EB across the James River to another stub at TCH 104 Exit 31A. Clearly, this one-lane wood-decked truss bridge never carried the TCH 104 designation, and judging from its bowed shape, it won't carry much more of anything soon.

Same place, and once again there's construction going on to dualize TCH 104 and convert Exit 31A to an interchange. The future WB Trunk 4 ramp is the closest to completion, but there's good progress on the new roadway. I couldn't spy whether it's just a pair of EB lanes and a conversion of the existing highway to a pair of WB lanes, or whether the whole shebang is going in on a new alignment. In all the confusion, a Clearview sign was plunked down facing Trunk 4 EB and somehow the 4 shield was covered over. The sign's a mess, but that's what you get for using Clearview.

Onto Cape Breton Island after one more brush with TCH 104, crossing St. Peter's Canal where Bras d'Or Lake comes closest to the Atlantic Ocean. (It means Arms of Gold in French, you filthy sleazebag.) If it weren't dark, I'd have explored the stub ends of NS 104 - notice that that's not TCH 104, because the Trans-Canada Highway follows 105 across the Island. NS 104 has one piece on the Island, just serving as a shortcut for Trunk 4, although there are of course grand plans to connect it to the mainland section. I wonder if those plans include a replacement of the current drawbridge across the Strait of Canso.

Trunk 4 splits into a one-way pair that sort of functions like a rotary at Exit 6 of NS 125, courtesy Steve Anderson. This is WB, with the ramp to 125 WB to the right, and Trunk 4 continues to the left. The way to 125 EB involves coming around the westbound half of the "rotary," and then making a left onto 4 EB.

Across Sydney and east of the end of NS 125. Trunk 4 dies in importance after this, ending in Glace Bay shortly after the curious assembly atop this page, where the EAST was clearly borrowed from a secondary route.

Onto Trunk Route 2 and Trunk 4/2
Onto current TCH 104 and Trunk 4/TCH 104

Onto NS 125
Back to Nova Scotia Roads
Back to Roads