September 9, 2005
(Transportation and Works)

Minister announces awarding of contract
for continued work on Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway

Tom Rideout, Minister of Transportation and Works, today announced that Johnson�s Construction Limited has been awarded a contract to continue work on Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway. This project is funded under the Labrador Transportation Initiative Fund.

Johnson�s Construction Limited, Pasadena, has been awarded a contract valued at $8,026,204 to grade approximately 28 km of the highway from Cartwright Junction toward Happy Valley � Goose Bay.

�In Budget 2005, government allocated $40 million for continued work on the Trans Labrador Highway, including carryovers from last year,� said Minister Rideout. �I am extremely pleased that we have been able to follow through on this commitment, and today�s announcement marks a huge investment into this initiative, and brings us significantly closer to making this highway a reality.�

The minister added that this is tremendous news for residents of Labrador.

�All Labradorians will now see yet another portion of the Trans Labrador Highway project become a reality as this work is completed,� said the minister. �Residents and tourists alike have experienced the need for this vital link through Labrador for a number of years now.

�I am extremely pleased that our government is now in the position to make another stride toward ultimately addressing this need.�

Minister Rideout added that government is strongly advocating for the federal government to include the Trans Labrador Highway as part of the National Highway System, creating a road link between this province and the rest of the country and making the Trans Labrador Highway road work eligible for federal funding. The total cost of Phase III is estimated to be $110 million.

�Our government is committed to continuing construction of this highway,� said Lake Melville District MHA John Hickey. �The work to be completed is significant and will directly benefit the residents of Labrador and those in the Lake Melville area in particular. This highway initiative will greatly improve Labrador�s economic and tourism potential.�

Minister Rideout said, �The beauty of Labrador makes a significant contribution to the overall aesthetic value of our province. It deserves to have a solid transportation infrastructure to further enhance its potential and the Trans Labrador Highway is a key component in reaching this point.

�Government is proud of its achievements in Labrador and will continue to identify and act on future needs and opportunities. Throughout 2005 and 2006, the Department of Transportation and Works will evaluate the performance of the 15 kilometre chip seal road surface that was laid in 2004 to determine its suitability as an alternative to conventional asphalt in the Labrador environment. We are planning to construct a new depot along the Trans Labrador Highway between Red Bay and Lodge Bay for the storage of winter maintenance equipment that will help accommodate the equipment required to address the severe weather conditions experienced along this section of road.

�We�re going to continue to work with Labradorians to generate new opportunities that will benefit its people, communities and economy.

�Our government is committed to the development and revitalization of the transportation industry in Labrador, and it is on schedule to be complete by 2009.�

Media contact: Lori Lee Oates, ABC, Communications, (709) 729-3015, 690-8403

2005 09 09                             3:15 p.m.

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