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Environment and Conservation
Transportation and Works
July 29, 2010

Bridges Reopen in T'Railway Provincial Park

Five key bridges in the western portion of the T'Railway Provincial Park that closed in 2008 are now re-opened to park users. The five bridges are: Robinsons East, Robinsons West, Middle Brook, Morris Brook and Codroy North Branch. Additionally, the Crabbes River bridge in St. Fintan's is being replaced as a result of a $3.6 million allocation in Budget 2010: The Right Investments — For Our Children and Our Future .

"We know the value of the T'Railway for the many outdoor enthusiasts who utilize it across the island," said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation. "Our government made an unprecedented infrastructure investment in the province last year, and this included funding for the T'Railway. We also made another substantive investment in this year's budget for Crabbe's River, and that piece of work is now underway. We are very happy to re-open a number of bridges that will certainly contribute to the experience of the park users."

In February 2009, the Provincial Government announced an $800 million infrastructure program for the province, including $2 million for projects in the T'Railway Provincial Park. The priority for the funding was to address the safety issues pertaining to a number of structures identified in a 2008 Transport Canada report. At that time, Transport Canada completed inspections on the 109 bridges along the T'Railway that are subject to the Navigable Waters Act and, as a result of their findings, the Provincial Government closed all bridges in the T'Railway Provincial Park until engineering assessments were completed. Bridges that were verified as safe for public use were reopened, while the ones deemed unsafe were closed and barricaded.

"My department is pleased to have worked collaboratively with the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Newfoundland T'Railway Council on the success of these projects and the reopening of the bridges," said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works. "Our infrastructure investment continues to positively impact the people of our province, and I am delighted with these results."

A portion of the funding was also utilized to conduct drainage and vegetation control maintenance projects along the T'Railway corridor to enhance access and prevent future washouts.

"T'Railway users in the province understand the importance of a continuous trail, and the re-opening of these structures will help restore this important feature," said Terry Morrison, Executive Director of the Newfoundland T'Railway Council. "As a result of this co-operative venture, our trail system is ready to be enjoyed this season."

Additionally, through a cost-sharing arrangement between the provincial and federal governments and the T'Railway Council, work has also been completed on the replacement of Indian Pond bridge in Conception Bay South. This structure has also been re-opened for public use.

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Media contacts:

Melony O'Neill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928

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

2010 07 29                                                     10:30 a.m.


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