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Springdale hopes to spearhead change in highway classification

According to Baie Verte – Green Bay MHA Brian Warr, the Trans-Canada Highway across Newfoundland is classified by either class A, meaning a product of 100 per cent salt is used on the highway, or a B class, which uses 50 per cent salt and 50 per cent sand on the road. The town of Springdale is hoping to bring together communities of Green Bay and White Bay to change their neighbouring section of the highway to a class A standard.
According to Baie Verte – Green Bay MHA Brian Warr, the Trans-Canada Highway across Newfoundland is classified by either class A, meaning a product of 100 per cent salt is used on the highway, or a B class, which uses 50 per cent salt and 50 per cent sand on the road. The Town of Springdale is hoping to bring together communities of Green Bay and White Bay to change their neighbouring section of the highway to a class A standard. - SaltWire File Photo

Bringing it up to standard

SPRINGDALE, N.L. —

The Town of Springdale is hoping to see a major change in treatment on the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) during inclement winter weather.

To address the class B conditions of the highway through the Green Bay South and White Bay areas of central Newfoundland, Springdale Mayor Dave Edison says the town is ready to rally together neighbouring communities and tackle the issue. 

With an approaching election and a new hospital being constructed in Springdale, Mayor Dave Edison says the time is right to try and change the current treatment on the Trans-Canada Highway that runs by Springdale.
With an approaching election and a new hospital being constructed in Springdale, Mayor Dave Edison says the time is right to try and change the current treatment on the Trans-Canada Highway that runs by Springdale.

“It’s a B-grade highway, it puts us as B-grade citizens in my mind,” Edison said. “An enormous number of complaints have come to us with how we’re treated in terms of the product used to clear the roads and the hours of operation.

“We’d like government to make a change. This has been going on for quite some time and we don’t think it’s working.”

According to Baie Verte – Green Bay MHA Brian Warr, the TCH across Newfoundland is classified by either class A, meaning a product of 100 per cent salt is used on the highway, or a B class, which uses 50 per cent salt and 50 per cent sand on the road. Warr says these classifications are made based on the volume of traffic that cross-sections the highway.

The Department of Transportation and Works was contacted for comment on this policy but did not respond.

“I’ve always felt that from Port aux Basques to St. John’s, the highway should have been classified the same,” said Warr. “I encourage the towns in any initiatives and it would be my priority to get that reclassified in our district.”

With the travel the highway sees from flights in and out of Deer Lake, work out-of-town and hospital trips to Grand Falls-Windsor, Edison says the highway conditions can be dangerous for the many vehicles that use it.

“The highway can be treacherous at times,” he said. “People drive into town from Deer Lake airport, and you got flights coming in at 3 or 4 a.m. when there’s not enough done to keep the ice off the road.

“I hear from people travelling to and from Grand Falls-Windsor that there’s a general feeling that in this area the road is not being looked after properly. When the other (Transportation and Work) depot takes over in Grand Falls-Windsor (area), you notice the difference.”

According to Warr, there are currently four Transportation and Works depots in the area — Baie Verte, Springdale and seasonal depots in La Scie and Robert’s Arm. Edison says allowing the depots in these areas to use 100 per cent salt would bring the highways in the area up to the standard seen elsewhere.

Looking ahead

Edison feels it’s important to get this issue addressed now as a new hospital is under construction in Springdale and an approaching provincial election. He would like to see the highway brought to a class A standard before election day.

With additional input from other town representatives, Edison hopes a meeting with the Department of Transportation and Works can be organized in the near future.

“We’re hoping there will be enough interest in the area to go to government and get this changed,” he said. “The expenses may go up but it’s about safety on our highways.”

editor@thecentralvoice.ca
 


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