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Fixed link from Newfoundland to Labrador looks promising: report

Premier Dwight Ball praised local volunteers, recreation groups and politicians on their commitment to the project.
Premier Dwight Ball. Evan Careen/file

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.

david.maher@thetelegram.com

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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