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Transportation and Works
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
December 18, 2009

Satellite Phone Service Expanded to Trans Labrador Highway, Phase III

Motorists travelling Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway (TLH) between the South Coast of Labrador and Happy Valley-Goose Bay will have access to reliable emergency phone service thanks to the expansion of the Provincial Government�s TLH satellite phone program to include this section of the highway.

The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works, announced today that a tender will soon close for the provision of 25 new satellite phones that will be made available to people travelling the TLH, Phase III. These phones will be Iridium phones like those currently in service on Phase I of the TLH, between Labrador West and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, which have proven successful so far.

�This is a long isolated section of highway with no inhabitants or business establishments for travellers to approach in the event of an emergency,� said Minister Hedderson. �By making these phones available for emergency calls, we can give the travelling public increased peace of mind as they drive this section of highway and help to ensure they arrive safely at their destination.�

The province recently changed to Iridium phones in response to concerns about the reliability of the previous service and these new phones have been working well. The tender for the provision of the new phones closes on December 21, 2009, and the department hopes to take delivery of the phones by mid to late January. In the interim, the department has reallocated five of the group of existing phones from central and western Labrador to the Alexis Hotel in Port Hope Simpson.

�By installing these new satellite phone systems, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is working to further ensure a safe journey over the Trans Labrador Highway,� said the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Labrador Affairs. �As Labradorians celebrate the historic completion of Phase III of this highway, and as motorists venture throughout western, central, and southern Labrador, the Williams Government will continue to make every effort to support the safety and security of travellers.�

Satellite phones can now be picked up at the following participating hotels:

  • Wabush Hotel in Wabush;
  • Midway Travel Inn in Churchill Falls;
  • Hotel North Two and Royal Inn and Suites in Happy Valley-Goose Bay; and,
  • Alexis Hotel in Port Hope Simpson.

Additional locations for the placement of satellite phones on the South Coast of Labrador will be determined.

As with the phones currently in service, the new phones will be pre-programmed to enable calls to be directed to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) in Labrador City, which will co-ordinate appropriate emergency response through either the RNC or Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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Media contacts:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267
Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267

2009 12 18                        2:25 p.m.

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