Baie Verte, N.L.- Route 414 on the Baie Verte Peninsula is starting to become a bit of a laughing matter for residents in the area who use the road for their daily commute.
While the road in question is quite dangerous to navigate many residents laughed at the simple mention of the stretch of highway while searching for comments for this story.
Although the current state of the road may be laughable to residents who are tired of waiting for the provincial government to fix the problem, businesses in the area that rely on the road to do their daily operations find the situation to be not so funny.
Cathy Newbury of G&C Hardware says she is already seeing the impact.
“We’re seeing negative impacts, I mean we have two businesses here in La Scie. We have a building supply store and we also have a motel here,” Newbury said. “So we find from the motel people don’t want to come down over that road. We have vendors and suppliers with our hardware business and when you’re looking at getting freight in they’re saying they’re not going to come down over this end of the road because of the state that it’s in for the most part.”
Allan Cramm of Anaconda Mining in Baie Verte says the condition of the road is a blessing and a curse with regard to economic growth in the area.
“The infrastructure is no doubt being impacted, but that’s what it is,” Cramm said. “That’s sort of a double-edged sword when it comes to that. With no economic growth here there would be no damage to the roads. But we need the infrastructure to be maintained.”
Cramm says roughly 100 employees travel to and from the mining site on a given rotation from all over the peninsula.
“They commute from pretty much the extremes of this peninsula. From Middle Arm, to Brent’s Cove, to Fleur de Lys, to Westport," he said. "So we’ve got people from the communities farthest away from the mine that commute here on a regular basis. I hear talk of people with damaged tires, rims, steering and so on, but it’s a product of the economics in the peninsula. People are moving. They’re moving to and from work.”
The Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker gave an update Thursday about the provincial government’s provincial roads plan.
“I’m happy to report that tenders for 29 of the projects identified in the five-year provincial road plan have already closed, enabling contractors to hit the ground running as soon as the asphalt plants open in the coming weeks,” Crocker said. “We’ve also taken steps to improve our summer maintenance activities. We know our municipalities have concerns about highway infrastructure in and near their communities. Earlier this week, I wrote all municipalities in the province, asking them to identify the infrastructure issues, such as potholes, guiderails and highway shoulders that are most important to them.”
Newbury says this is something she has heard before from government.
“There have been a few promises made, and many broken when it comes to that road,” she said.