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Is there a need for a fixed link?

Melissa Jenkins
Melissa Jenkins

If you ask those who frequently travel across the Strait of Belle Isle any time of the year, you may hear stories of delays and cancellations for the two forms of transportation, especially in winter.

Because of high winds and ice, it’s not uncommon to experience ferry and plane cancellations.
For some municipal leaders on the Northern Peninsula, there’s a solution to those issues — a permanent link.
The provincial government has confirmed a re-evaluation would take place to research a fixed link between the Big Land and the island. This should determine whether or not a link could exist, what it would cost and how it could be done.
But would a fixed link be a solution to cancellations of ferries and planes? Would it be more cost efficient? How about more timely?
Right now, there is very little up-to-date information to support either argument. The most recent details come from 2004.
The new bridge will be at least 17 kilometres long, the shortest distance between Labrador and Newfoundland. That is five kilometres longer than the Confederation Bridge in P.E.I.
If you ask those who frequently travel across the Labrador Straits, chances are they want something more stationary and consistent.
With a fixed link, constant travel is possible. There’s no constriction on times when a person would have to be at a ferry or airport terminal.
All times of the year, there would be regular access. There’s always a chance of some weather-related closures. But that’s no different from now. Ferries often get tied up at port if the winds are too strong or the ice is too thick. And planes get cancelled for snow and poor viability.
But what about icebergs? Would they become an issue if there’s a bridge? Or how about the marine ecosystem? Will it be affected? Would it be easier for locals to plan a day trip across the water? What about for tourism?
There are so many unanswered questions, but one thing is for sure, it has the attention of the transport minister, municipal leaders on both shores and locals alike.
Will we see a fixed link in the near future? It’s highly unlikely with the major budget cuts, but when it does happen, it will likely be welcomed with open arms.

Because of high winds and ice, it’s not uncommon to experience ferry and plane cancellations.
For some municipal leaders on the Northern Peninsula, there’s a solution to those issues — a permanent link.
The provincial government has confirmed a re-evaluation would take place to research a fixed link between the Big Land and the island. This should determine whether or not a link could exist, what it would cost and how it could be done.
But would a fixed link be a solution to cancellations of ferries and planes? Would it be more cost efficient? How about more timely?
Right now, there is very little up-to-date information to support either argument. The most recent details come from 2004.
The new bridge will be at least 17 kilometres long, the shortest distance between Labrador and Newfoundland. That is five kilometres longer than the Confederation Bridge in P.E.I.
If you ask those who frequently travel across the Labrador Straits, chances are they want something more stationary and consistent.
With a fixed link, constant travel is possible. There’s no constriction on times when a person would have to be at a ferry or airport terminal.
All times of the year, there would be regular access. There’s always a chance of some weather-related closures. But that’s no different from now. Ferries often get tied up at port if the winds are too strong or the ice is too thick. And planes get cancelled for snow and poor viability.
But what about icebergs? Would they become an issue if there’s a bridge? Or how about the marine ecosystem? Will it be affected? Would it be easier for locals to plan a day trip across the water? What about for tourism?
There are so many unanswered questions, but one thing is for sure, it has the attention of the transport minister, municipal leaders on both shores and locals alike.
Will we see a fixed link in the near future? It’s highly unlikely with the major budget cuts, but when it does happen, it will likely be welcomed with open arms.

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