Protest shuts down highway project for 2nd day

People protesting a realignment of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Charlottetown have succeeded in shutting down the work site for a second day.

Fence must surround entire site for work to continue

Protestors line the roadway at the Trans-Canada Highway work site west of Charlottetown. (John Jeffery/CBC)

For the second day in a row, protesters stopped construction work on the realignment of the Trans Canada Highway.

Transportation officials say a protestor got too close to a tree harvester and work was shut down for safety reasons.

"In consultation with the RCMP, we need to contain the site, so we're putting up fencing around the perimeter to make the work site safe," said Chief Engineer Steve Yeo.

"There's some people on the site who don't have safety equipment and are not authorized to be there so for the good of safety we shut the contractor down for the day."

The headquarters for the controversial highway project is located at the old fun park in New Haven.

Dozens of highway staff were called out to erect a plastic snow fence along the entire construction route, more than six kilometres in all.

Yeo said construction was stopped because the protestors who were out before the sun came up along the Trans Canada. They had gathered at one of the entrances to the construction site.

"I am absolutely appalled at the waste of the taxpayers money and the insensitivity of the current government," said protester Eric MacPhail.

Work on the new highway may have stopped, but a bulldozer was busy clearing the way for parking.

Later in the day the protesters gathered in the woods. The group opposed to the plan B construction has set up a base camp on Peters Road, close to stands of white pine and hemlock now wrapped in blankets and wool.

RCMP officers are keeping a close eye on them.

"We're very concerned about safety on and off the work site," said Transportation Minister Rob Vessey.

The protesters aren't expected to give up their fight and are expected to try to disrupt work again.

"That will be dealt with with the right officials," said Yeo. "We'll deal with that when the time comes."

The Anti-plan B group are planning a rally on Saturday at noon. They vow to find new ways to halt the construction of the $20M dollar project, which transportation and contractors are anxious to proceed with.