Clarenville Mayor Fred Best wants to see work started, as soon as possible, on upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway from Whitbourne to Clarenville and the creation of a divided highway in that area.
Best used the Hebron Public Review Commission's public session in Clarenville Thursday as an opportunity to get his call for provincial and federal government action on the record.
"Hibernia, White Rose and now Hebron have been and are massive projects. They generate large sums of money for both the federal and provincial coffers," he said.
"Yet we have seen very little improvement in road transportation between the Avalon Peninsula and our area,"
Hebron is expected to bring in $20 billion in royalties and taxes to the province over its lifespan.
First oil is set for 2017 and, at its estimated peak in 2024, the project is expected to provide more than 65 per cent of the province's annual offshore oil production.
"Much of the material (for the project), as well as the worker travel, use the two-lane Trans-Canada link between Whitbourne, Bull Arm and the Clarenville area. It is totally, Mr. Chairman, inadequate for the increase in road traffic that can be expected," Best said.
His presentation to the Hebron Public Review Commission has been posted on YouTube. In his comments, Best said Bull Arm would continue to be a major construction site beyond five years from now, post-Hebron construction.
With this in mind, he said, the main "very bad stretch" of road to the area needs to be addressed.
"It is our contention that the time has come and the needs have demonstrated that serious consideration must be given to extending a divided highway further west to accommodate that increase in traffic. We should expect nothing less."