By Craig Westcott/June 9, 2022
Holyrood Mayor Gary Goobie is registering his disappointment that the main road through town, and Route 60 generally, has been left off the provincial government’s priority list for major roadwork in the next two years.
Transportation minister Elvis Loveless announced the so-called Provincial Roads Plan on May 16. The plan includes money to finish paving the Trans Labrador Highway, replace 18 bridges throughout the province and repave sections of the TCH, Baie Verte Highway and the highway connecting the Great Northern Peninsula. Most of the money being spent on this end of the island will go towards upgrades and repairs to the TransCanada Highway. However, a section of the Salmonier Line and the Southern Shore Highway will get rehabilitated, while repairs will be made to bridges in Mount Carmel and one on the road to Colinet.
“We understand there’s bridges, culverts and roads throughout the province in deplorable condition and that the budgeted amount only scratches the surface of road infrastructure that needs such improvements and repairs,” Goobie allowed. “We will continue to lobby the department for consideration of funding for next year’s budget. It’s disappointing, but I guess the engineering assessments that are conducted by the department dictates which roads should be on the priority list. I hope that the department will increase the infrastructure budget for road repairs in next year’s budget.”
But Goobie added, he is taking some encouragement from news out of the House of Assembly that Route 60 could benefit from road maintenance monies. The mayor explained that in response to a question, the Transportation minister acknowledged Route 60 is not in the new road plan, even though Loveless himself lives on Route 60, but added consideration will be given to the highway under the department’s upgraded maintenance plan.
“So, let’s hope that sections of Holyrood will be included in this plan,” said Goobie. “I think the purpose of the maintenance plan is to do long sections – not just fill in potholes – but sections… We will continue to reach out to the department. But the minister did say he is quite aware of Route 60 and he’s going to see what can be done.”