Labrador Liberal MHA Lisa Dempster says the section of the Trans-Labrador Highway running through her district is so bad that there have been four accidents in the last week alone.
Demster said she’s worried that the problem won’t get fixed until somebody gets killed as a result of the massive potholes and sections of cracked pavement.
“The pavement is 35 years old. The life of pavement is 20 years. So it’s already very bad, but all this heavy beating with this traffic with this megaproject has made it so much worse,” she said. “I was losing a tire every week when I was campaigning.”
On her Facebook page, she posted a photo from a constituent lying down on the road next to a pothole; the hole is bigger than he is tall.
Demster said she believes that traffic related to the Muskrat Falls project is making a bad situation on an old road even worse.
But a spokeswoman from Nalcor said it has not been using that section of road thus far for construction of the hydro project.
Later, the road may get some use, but right now everything is being shipped to Happy Valley-Goose Bay by boat, the spokeswoman said.
Transportation Minister Nick McGrath said he knows the southern Labrador section of highway is in bad condition, but workers are doing all they can.
“Like many of the roads throughout the province, it certainly needs work,” he said. “We keep an eye on it all the time, and we’re constantly doing maintenance work.”
McGrath told The Telegram workers try to use cold-patch to fill pot holes, but after a snow fall, the plows come along and pop the patch out of the hole.
He said he still thinks it’s safe to drive, though.
“You drive according to conditions, and certainly, I wouldn’t say that the section of road between L’ans au Clair is unsafe to drive,” McGrath said. “You certainly have to drive with due diligence and you drive according to conditions.”
Dempster said what really needs to happen is a complete replacement of the pavement up there, considering the heavy traffic coming with the Muskrat Falls project.
But McGrath said replacing the pavement right now would be akin to plowing the roads the day before a snowfall.