An early exploration of a fixed link connecting the island of Newfoundland to Labrador has been given a thumbs up, with more study to come.
The study, conducted by engineering firm Hatch through the Harris Centre, recommends an underwater tunnel that would see a single, 18-kilometre train line run back and forth, 20 meters below the sea floor of the Strait of Bell Isle.
The estimated cost of construction would be $1.6 billion for that line. When factoring estimated finance expenses, the cost is actually $2.7 billion.
The tunnel would take 15 years to complete.
Another option proposed by the engineering firm would see an underwater, one-way road that would cost $2.064 billion to construct, with similar increases in cost once financing is considered.
The road tunnel would take 14 year to complete.
At a news conference Wednesday, Premier Dwight Ball says government accepts the study and will soon conduct another feasibility study – estimated to cost around $20 million. It will determine the possibility of a link in greater detail.
More information to come.