Dust suppression on again

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Liberal MHA applauds decision to apply calcium chloride to gravel roads

A tender closed Friday on a gravel road dust suppression program the Tory government cancelled in 2013.
St. John’s South Liberal MHA Tom Osborne said while the PCs flip-flopped on it, at least rural residents faced with the health hazards of dusty roads will benefit.
Osborne had quizzed the government on the topic before the House of Assembly closed a few weeks ago with an unclear answer from Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath.

Then the tender was announced.

The department told The Telegram that prior to a budget decision in 2013, calcium chloride was applied annually to about 192 kilometres of gravel roads throughout the province as a dust suppressant where there are permanent residents on low-traffic, low-speed roads.

But residents from different parts of the province complained about the cutback and transportation and works made the decision to apply calcium chloride to provincial government-owned gravel roads where there are permanent residents.

“I am delighted they have resumed the program. It shouldn’t have been discontinued last year,” Osborne said, adding no dust suppression puts residents’ health at risk.

“I don’t care if they made it for a political reason. It was the right decision.”

A transportation and works spokesman said once the tender — for calcium chloride or magnesium chloride — is awarded, crews will be on the road as quickly as possible.

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