Ball Government Risking Clarenville

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Ball Government Risking Clarenville Economy by Washing Hands of Causeway Bridge
"the Ball government argues it has no responsibility to repair the vital link."
Friday, February 14, 2020

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

 
CLARENVILLE, NL (February 14, 2020) - After failing a structural engineering assessment, a crumbling Clarenville-area causeway bridge has been under traffic restrictions for nearly two years and is at risk of closing completely due to safety concerns while the Ball government argues it has no responsibility to repair the vital link.

Questioned by Terra Nova PC MHA Lloyd Parrott ‎in the House of Assembly last June, transportation minister Steve Crocker said responsibility for the causeway was transferred to the municipality in the 1990s.

However, Parrott and the Town of Clarenville have produced documentation showing this is not true. In 1995, John Efford, who was the transportation minister of the day, clearly stated in writing that the government had no interest in transferring responsibility for this costly infrastructure to the town.

Further supporting the town's case is the fact that the provincial government inspected the bridge in 1997 and scheduled it for replacement by the province in 2015‎, just before the Ball government came to office. Since then, however, the Ball government has washed its hands of responsibility for the deteriorating link, saying the town has to bear the burden.

‎Parrott is reiterating what he said to the minister in the House last June, when he urged the government to be reasonable by meeting with the town to work out a solution that's in everyone's best interest.

‎"This a piece of regional infrastructure is used by thousands of commuters and tourists daily, as well as commercial traffic and Transportation and Works. An outright closure of the causeway would be devastating to the businesses and commerce of the entire region, not to exclude the fact that Transportation and Works would have to go all the way around the Trans-Canada Highway to get to areas they’re responsible for. Will the minister convene a face-to-face meeting with all of the communities and stakeholders to find a way forward before the next construction season?"

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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