August 28, 2002
(Works, Services and Transportation)

Provincial transportation minister announces government will
call for proposals to study Long Island Causeway

Percy Barrett, Minister of Works, Services and Transportation, announced today his department will call for proposals to conduct a waterway users study to investigate the feasibility and costs of constructing a causeway between Long Island and Pilley’s Island.

During the course of the study, government will consult with users of the waterway in an effort to determine the optimum vertical and horizontal bridge opening necessary to accommodate marine traffic. The results of the study will help determine if construction of a causeway is financially feasible. The department plans to issue the request for proposals in late fall and hopes to have the study completed by spring 2003.

"The people of Long Island have been very patient, and yet very committed, in their pursuit of getting a causeway," said Minister Barrett. "The province appreciates their patience and would now like to move ahead with gathering data on the feasibility of constructing such a causeway."

Minister Barrett said if the project is deemed financially feasible, this study will assist his officials in preparing a more detailed design of the causeway and bridge and registering the project under the federal Navigable Waters Protection Act. It is expected that registering the project will trigger an environmental review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

In the 2001 budget, the provincial government announced it would commit funding to the project if the federal government agreed to contribute. To date, no agreement has been reached. Minister Barrett said if the federal government is not willing to contribute under a partnership agreement, the province will investigate other ways to fund the project. He says the first step, however, is to determine if the project is economically feasible. Government spends approximately $600,000 annually in ferry services between Long Island and Pilley’s Island.

Media contact: Lynn Evans, Communications, (709) 729-3015.

2002 08 28                             10:20 a.m.

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