Government to proceed with construction of new ferries

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Transportation

For those who commute back and forth from islands along the province's shore, Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson might have seemed like the ferry godfather Monday.

The province's fiscal plan for 2010 included an announcement government would proceed with the construction of six new ferries.

For those who commute back and forth from islands along the province's shore, Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson might have seemed like the ferry godfather Monday.

The province's fiscal plan for 2010 included an announcement government would proceed with the construction of six new ferries.

Five will go to south coast of the island, while one will go to south coast of Labrador.

"Very exciting times," Hedderson said following the budget speech, adding the ferries are certainly needed.

The minister said the six new vessels mean 10 are underway or in the works.

He said two new ships are in the building stage, another is a planned purchase and one is at the design stage.

Besides the $55 million to advance the construction of new ferries, the province plans to spend $5 million to upgrade terminals and $12.5 million to refit existing carriers.

The ferry funding didn't do much for Liberal leader Yvonne Jones.

"We're still using a ferry on the Strait of Belle Isle that's 40 years old," she said, adding some of the vessels serving the North Coast are also about that age.

Other transportation expenditures announced Monday include $177.7 million for road and bridge repairs.

That investment will be supplemented with $57.9 in federal funding.

The road related projects involved include: the Trans-Canada and Trans-Labrador Highways; extensions to the Team Gushue Highway, the Conception Bay South Bypass and Torbay Bypass; the replacement of the Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge in Placentia; and the replacement of the Donovans Overpass at Kenmount Road.

Hedderson said the investments were wise, as the province gets infrastructure for the future and also the jobs created during construction.

"Roads, bridges and buildings are the keys to the future."

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Trans-Canada, Conception Bay South Bypass, Donovans Overpass

Geographic location: Labrador, North Coast, Placentia Kenmount Road

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Recent comments

  • curious cat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    I'd be curious to know if the province will put a temporary bridge adjacent to the kenmount overpass. Rush hour is bad enough with two access points to St. John's (TCH & Kenmount). I can only imagine the chaos and dramatic increase in vehicular accidents we could see if the province tries to funnell everyone through the TCH only.

  • curious cat
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I'd be curious to know if the province will put a temporary bridge adjacent to the kenmount overpass. Rush hour is bad enough with two access points to St. John's (TCH & Kenmount). I can only imagine the chaos and dramatic increase in vehicular accidents we could see if the province tries to funnell everyone through the TCH only.