Trans-Canada re-route draws opposition
Homeowners vow to fight new route
Some people who live between Bonshaw and New Haven plan to fight what they call a lack of public consultation on the provincial government's new plan to re-route the Trans-Canada Highway.
Thirty-four residents would lose their houses and land under the so-called Plan B route.
But the province says the latest proposed realignment, announced in December, is actually the result of public input and affected residents will be compensated.
The new route preserves Strathgartney Provincial Park and is safer because it straightens out a dangerous stretch, said Stephen Yeo, the province’s chief engineer.
The reconfiguration also eliminates steep grades and numerous driveway accesses, and provides a larger bridge in Bonshaw, he said.
About $4 million has been set aside to purchase all of the affected properties, including the large, forested New Haven Campground, which used to be the amusement park, Encounter Creek, Yeo said.
Bill Murley told CBC News he’s been offered $208,000 because the new route would basically obliterate his bungalow and three building lots.
But he doesn’t plan to accept, he said.
Meanwhile, Ernie Crosby has already been paid.
The new route, which circles to the north of the Churchill CBC tower and down to the West River, goes right through his 75-acre farm, he said.
Communities to hold public meetings
The two communities of Bonshaw and New Haven will hold public meetings about the new route this week.
Opponents have also organized a public walking tour through the new route Sunday and Monday.
The $16-million construction project is slated to begin in September, once environmental assessments have been completed.
The previous proposed route, which cut through Strathgartney Provincial Park and nearby protected lands, also resulted in public opposition.
About 100 people attended a rally outside Province House in Charlottetown on Oct. 25 and more than 2,700 people had signed a petition asking the province to preserve the park, which is located 20 kilometres west of Charlottetown.
There were also 300 submissions from Islanders, most of whom asked that the provincial park be protected as well as ecologically sensitive areas nearby.