Published on October 22, 2013
Liberal leadership candidate Danny Dumaresque talked about the feasibility and need for a tunnel connecting Labrador with the island portion of the province in Corner Brook on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013.
Published on October 22, 2013
This image shows the Norwegian tunnel method Liberal leadership candidate Danny Dumaresque wants to construct under the Strait of Bell Isle.
CORNER BROOK — After seeing the construction of sub-sea tunnels in Norway, Danny Dumaresque is confident this province can build one under the Strait of Belle Isle.
“And we could link up this place like never before,” Dumaresque, a candidate in the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador’s leadership race, told a Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade luncheon at the Greenwood Inn and Suites on Tuesday.
Dumaresque said the time has come for a tunnel to be built and that is why he has made it a central plank in his platform.
To shore up that plank, Dumaresque travelled to Norway last week to view the construction of the Ryfast sub-sea tunnel system between Stavanger and Strand.
Once completed in 2018-2019, the tunnel will be the longest in the world at 28.6 kilometres. It will be 28 feet wide, consist of two tubes for traffic and will cost a total of $418 million Cdn.
Dumaresque said the tunnel is being constructed using drill and blast technology that has been perfected in rock formations that are similar to those found in the Straits.
“It’s extremely exciting for me to have this updated information, to now be able to go out and try to convince the people of this province that this is indeed a very, very doable project and one that is long overdue,” he said.
Based on the Norwegian numbers with an estimated cost of $14.6 million per kilometre, Dumaresque said it would cost $496 million to complete a tunnel from the Northern Peninsula to Labrador. He said a tunnel could be put across the 17-kilometre distance that features two tubes for a total road surface of 34 kilometres.
“We can have a safe, environmentally sustainable project,” he said.
And Dumaresque believes the way to do it is to incorporate the Maritime Link cable from Muskrat Falls into the project.
In six years, he said, the province could have both a guaranteed transportation link and a secure electronic cable for the same price.
He said it may delay electricity to the island for a year or so.
“But if we acted now, it will show the kind of financial management and province building that we expect of our leaders,” Dumaresque said.
He called on Premier Kathy Dunderdale to stop planning for the laying of the submarine cable and take all necessary steps to have the tunnel built.
Leader of the Liberals or not, Dumaresque said he won’t be giving up on a tunnel.
“I will continue to promote this project because it is a project whose time has come,” he said. “It will be a real game changer for the economic and political growth of this great place.”