HOWLEY A representative of the Parks and Natural Areas Division of the provincial Department of Environment and Conservation says the trail washout that took place near Howley on the rail bed trail will be fixed within days.
Spokesperson Tina Coffey said a local contractor will be on site within a day or two. She said repair of the rail bed trail actually falls under the jurisdiction of the division and not of the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation, as was alluded to the press early last year.
According to the division’s records, the rail bed T’railway has been the responsibility of the province since 1997 when it became part of the provincial park system. It suffered a washout about 12 kilometres east of Howley over the weekend during heavy rains, forcing ATV riders to find a route around the approximately 15-foot broken section of the trail.
At around 2 p.m. Tuesday a group of ATV riders from the Clarenville area were fighting their way around the break through floodwater and a tangle of brush. They had to use winches to get their vehicles up to the trail on the other side of the break, as well as clear the culvert below to drain some of the flooded area.
Mayor Calvin Samms of Howley said he hopes the washed-out area can be fixed as soon as possible so as to not dissuade riders from coming back to his town.
The T’railway is home to hundreds of snowmobilers in the winter, as well as summer ATV operators, bikers and hikers, and is a generator of hundreds of thousands of tourism dollars each year in places like Howley, Deer Lake, Pasadena and Corner Brook.