Road to Labrador under study

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by Emily Atkins

The federal government and government of Newfoundland and Labrador are studying the feasibility of a new, all-season roadway connecting northern Labrador to Canada’s Trans-Canada Highway network via the Trans-Labrador Highway.

The governments will each contribute $200,000 to the project, which will be led by Newfoundland and Labrador .

In addition to connecting communities, the roadway would facilitate travel, reduce travel and shipping costs and increase food security. It would also facilitate access to essential goods and services, and create economic development opportunities.

“Many isolated communities in the Nunatsiavut region are not connected to the Trans-Labrador Highway. They presently, rely instead on air and marine services for travel and goods,” said transport minister Omar Alghabra.

“A new roadway connection between northern Labrador and the Trans-Labrador Highway would provide an all-season link to the south, and with it, social and economic benefits including access to employment and economic development sites. This pre-feasibility study is a first step in the evaluation process.”

A road into northern Labrador would be expected to start in the vicinity of the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay or the Lake Melville area, and extend as far north as the Inuit communities of Rigolet, Postville, Makkovik, Hopedale, and Nain, and the Innu community of Natuashish.

“Our government has made significant investments for transportation in Labrador, including ferry services for the Strait of Belle Isle and northern Labrador, and for the Trans-Labrador Highway, which was completed earlier this year. Extending the highway with access roads to the northern communities could lead to numerous opportunities and we look forward to this study being completed,” said Elvis Loveless, minister of transportation and infrastructure of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The National Trade Corridors Fund provides funding for research projects in the Arctic and the North to support northern transportation infrastructure like ports, airports, all-season roads, and bridges. These projects enhance the safety, security, economic, and social development of the northern area of Labrador, which comprises the Nunatsiavut region, Canada’s three territories, the Nunavik region in Quebec, and the Town and Port of Churchill in Manitoba.