Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Residents of the Southwest Coast all receive a Snow Job.

For those not familiar with the term,click here and you'll find one or two to suit the meaning. Maybe they all apply in this case!

here's the big release from Diane Whelan, Minister of Works and Transportation for the Province.

Transportation and Works
October 28, 2008

Provincial Government Launching 24-Hour Snow Clearing Pilot Project

For the first time in almost 30 years, 24-hour snow clearing will be available on various parts of the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) and some major trunk roads in this province.

The Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works, announced today that the Provincial Government is introducing limited 24-hour snow clearing as part of a pilot project this winter. Minister Whalen made the announcement during a news conference at the Department of Transportation and Works depot in Clarenville.

"As always, this government is committed to providing motorists with safe winter driving conditions," said Minister Whalen. "This pilot project will allow Transportation and Works staff to determine the effectiveness, necessity and long-term sustainability of 24-hour snow clearing."

The last time the province had any 24-hour, snow-clearing coverage on the Trans Canada Highway and trunk roads was 1979.

The Provincial Government has invested $1.7 million to launch the pilot project, which will provide coverage in high-traffic areas of the Trans Canada Highway and major trunk roads. Approximately $1.3 million of this cost will be associated with additional salt/sand purchases, fuel and increased maintenance.

Sections of the Trans Canada Highway that will receive 24-hour snow-clearing coverage this winter are:

  • Logy Bay Road Interchange to Manitoba Drive in Clarenville;
  • Cooper Boulevard in Gander to the west end of the divided highway in Grand Falls-Windsor; and,
  • The Route 430 Interchange in Deer Lake to the Stephenville Cold Brook Depot.

Trunk roads that will receive 24-hour snow-clearing coverage are:

All sections in this year’s pilot project were included based on Department of Transportation and Works traffic counts that indicate high traffic volumes.

Normally, the Department of Transportation and Works has snow-clearing crews working from approximately 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The pilot project will have crews working around the clock to keep roads clear of snow and ice.

Minister Whalen says sections of road not included in the pilot project will continue to receive necessary coverage.

"As per usual, our snow plows will work past 9:30 p.m. if a storm is coming to an end and continue early in the morning," said Minister Whalen. "And in case of emergencies, ambulance and fire truck operators can call our 24-hour dispatch and plows will be dispatched immediately."

Contact information for the various 24-hour dispatch services is available at the following internet link:

Minister Whalen said sections not included in the coverage area this winter could be included in the future, depending on the outcome of this year’s pilot project.

- 30 -2008 10 28 1:15 p.m.

The residents here still remember the Williams Government's Pilot project back in 2004 when the commercial weight scales at Port Aux Basques was closed. This recent Pilot Project seems familiar and most of us know why. It's a political project because were in a Liberal district and that's the way it goes with this Government. Residents here on the Southwest coast have to travel daily to Corner Brook or Stephenville for medical attention and when winter approaches some have to leave the day before and hotel bills are not uncommon to a lot. If that pilot project was extended to the Southwest coast a lot of people could still make the appointment and return the same day. Two weeks ago i left my home at 4:45 am to take a family member to Corner Brook for a medical procedure at Western Memorial Hospital. His time to be admitted for the procedure was 7:45 am. We arrived on time and made it back home by 4pm the same day. I wonder where does Dianne Whalen think the bulk of freight that enters the island comes from? Does she forget the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal at Port Aux Basques? Minister Whalen,extend that Pilot Project to the Southwest Cost and ignore the fact that were a Liberal District. For your information we do consider ourselves a part of the province even though the current goverment might not think so.

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