The Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced an investment of up to $306 million to expand the Trans-Canada Highway.

This investment will enable the twinning of segments of the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) in Newfoundland’s Avalon and Central regions to increase traffic capacity and ensure better separation between opposing traffic lanes. These improvements will support reliability and security of access between rural communities, strengthen year-round transportation connections, improve transportation safety, and enhance the TCH’s resiliency to climate change.

“Strengthening our supply chains and facilitating the movement of goods and people is key to  economic security. As the effects of climate change are felt by communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country, the investment we are making today in the Trans-Canada Highway will ensure Newfoundland and Labrador’s key supply route will be more resilient to extreme weather events,” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

The twinning project will include a 15 kilometre section between Bishop’s Falls and Grand Falls-Windsor in the Central region, as well as a section of approximately 40 kilometres of highway heading west, beginning at Whitbourne in the Avalon region. Twinning these sections of Trans-Canada Highway will help increase traffic capacity and ensure better separation between opposing traffic lanes. These improvements will also support reliability and security of access between rural communities, strengthen year-round transportation connections, improve transportation safety and enhance the TCH’s resiliency to climate change.

The Government of Canada is investing $153 million in this project, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is also investing $153 million.

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“Twinning the Trans-Canada Highway here will lead to safer commutes and better movement of goods across the island. That means spending less time on the road, and more time with your family,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour.

With additional funding of $20 million, the Provincial Government will also make highway improvements that will see the addition of 15 kilometres of passing lane to allow for a continuous passing lane for the first 30 kilometres leaving Port aux Basques. This will allow traffic to flow more efficiently during peak periods of ferry traffic.

“Investments in public infrastructure are crucial to keeping our rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador healthy, strong, and vibrant. These road upgrades will make life easier for commuters in these areas by making the Trans-Canada Highway safer and more reliable, resulting in less traffic congestion, and helping our residents get where they need to go,” said Joanne Thompson, MP for St. John’s East.

The Province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure also recently announced the awarding of five contracts, including:

  • A $2.9 million contract awarded to Marine Contractors Inc. to replace six culverts, rehabilitate, and pave sections of approximately five kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway between Pinchgut Lake and Blue Pond, southwest of Corner Brook;
  • A $5.5. million contract awarded to Municipal Construction Ltd. for paving and brush clearing on the Trans-Canada Highway between Birchy Narrows and Main Brook Bridge;
  • A $4.2 million contract awarded to Municipal Construction Ltd. to rehabilitate and pave sections of the Trans-Canada Highway between Springdale and Baie Verte, to pave a section of the highway near Bishop’s Falls, and to replace a culvert on Beothuk Trail (Route 380);
  • A $5.3 million contract awarded to J-1 Contracting Ltd. to replace culverts and pave sections of the Trans-Canada Highway between Gander and Appleton; and
  • A $7.6 million contract awarded to JCL Investments Inc. to rehabilitate and pave sections of North West River Road between Dump Road Access and Goose River Bridge, and from Goose River Bridge toward Gosling Lake; and to pave approaches to Munik Pone Memorial Bridge (Pinus River), Route 500.
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“Projects like these announced today are important for our continued efforts regarding the modernization of our provincial roads infrastructure. They are also significant from a traffic safety perspective, and helping ensure our rural and urban communities are connected to service centres that provide health care and other government-related supports,” said Elvis Loveless, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“This is great news for all of Newfoundland and Labrador. Highway twinning provides safe and more efficient throughout of goods and people throughout our province.  The associated construction and spin-off will employ thousands of Newfoundland and Labradoreans,” said Jim Organ, executive director of the Heavy Civil Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Featured image: Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, May 1, 2023. (Government of Canada)

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