Trans-Labrador Highway upgrades needed now, family says
Construction on the Trans-Labrador Highway isn't happening soon enough, according to some residents who are frustrated with the unpaved road south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
It took the Clark family 10 and a half hours to drive 400 kilometres of road between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Cartwright.
"It's not even a highway, it's just like a cow's path — it's not fit to be on," Bethann Clark told CBC.
Clark said her pickup truck broke down because of the bumpy road , stranding her family for hours on the side of the highway.
"It's shameful that we, the people of Labrador, have to travel on this highway when, really, no one should be on it."
Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath was in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Thursday to announce the tender for part of the Trans-Labrador Highway.
"The 80 kilometres of paving between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Cartwright Junction will be completed in the fall of 2015," McGrath told the crowd.
The Clark family want the government to do something about the road sooner rather than later, but McGrath said there is no quick fix.
"It's very difficult to go in and grade this now under those conditions because what you're doing is actually making the gravel road worse because you're taking away the little bit of top that is thawed because, remember, two or three inches beneath here it's still frozen solid," McGrath said.
"People have to drive according to conditions and until the weather dries out now and we get into our hopefully warm spring, we're going to have to deal with some situations like this and then you're going to see the equipment on that road."
Bethann Clark is not impressed with McGrath's promise.
"Hang-tight, wait a year and a half, 'we might see it in five years time.' We've all been through this. It's been said before," Clark said, "We'll believe it when we see it."
The transportation minister also announced a tender for work on the Trans-Labrador Highway between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Labrador West.