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Good news and bad news in this year ’s provincial road plan

Municipal leaders were hoping for a new left-turning lane near Joey ’s Lookout.
Municipal leaders were hoping for a new left-turning lane near Joey ’s Lookout.

There's good news for the people who travel along Route 320 between Indian Bay and Templeman according to the government’s recently released Five-Year Provincial Road Plan.

The plan states that work to upgrade and pave the road from the Indian Bay Bridge towards Templeton will begin in 2017-18 and carry through to 2018-19. In 2019 -20, the upgrading and paving will continue from the Templeman intersection towards Musgrave Harbour.

However, there’s also bad news for municipal leaders who have been advocating for a new left-turning lane for eastbound traffic at Joey’s Lookout on the TCH near Gambo.

Traffic heading east on the highway must come to a standstill behind motorists turning off at Joey’s Lookout. Several near misses and an accident have already taken place in the area.

Speaking with TC Media, Transportation and Works Minister Al Hawkins said although a new left-turning lane is not scheduled for this year, or included in the work announced for the following four years, that does not mean the work is ruled out.

He said the five-year plan is a “rolling plan” designed to give the government flexibilityto address issues as they arise.

"I’m only going to be announcing 100 per cent of the road work for the next year. So I’ve announced 100 per cent for 2017-2018 and then for 2018-2019 I’ve announced 75 per cent with 25 per cent flexibility," Hawkins explained. "As you go on I’ve got 50/50 and so on. The percentages that are not announced give me flexibility, priorities for situations that surface."

According to the Minister, each request for roadwork will be evaluated and scored according to various criteria as outlined in the plan. He added that constructing the turning lane would involve "a significant investment" given the hill and the geography of the area.

"What we will do, continue to do, is look at a cost and design and what exactly that will entail, and that will go through the process we do (the analysis and scoring) to determine what work is going to be done," he said.

The current plan does announce some roadwork for the stretch of highway near Gambo. In 2019-20, the section between the Gambo River Bridge to the eastern end of Square Pond will be repaved and work will be carried out to identify issues with culverts, guide rails and signage.

You can find a complete copy of the plan at:

http://www.tw.gov.nl.ca/TenderingandContracts/PDF/5yearplan.pdf

gail.collins@tc.tc

 

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