© Star photo by Frank Gale
A section of the community of Gull Pond near Stephenville.
As it stands, the Indian Head Rod and Gun Club Association has no objection to the proposed bypass road on the Hansen Highway.
The Department of Transportation and Works has proposed the construction of the bypass road at Route 460 (Hansen Highway), near Noel’s Pond on the outskirts of Stephenville, for a distance of about six kilometres.
The rod and gun association is the governing body for Gull Pond, a small community that includes a number of permanent residences, along with seasonal cabins and trailers.
Patricia White, vice president of the association, said the group has received a map, accompanied by assurances in writing that the department will continue to clear snow on the Hansen Highway up to the intersection that leads into Gull Pond.
“Because of that, and the fact that the new road will provide a separate turnoff lane for traffic, including the many trailers we have here during the summer, we don’t have any concerns with the project and the new bypass road,” White said.
“In fact it looks like the new turnoff will be a lot safer.”
She said residents have also been informed blasting will be required sometime during the construction period, and everyone will be notified to leave their homes or cabins at that time.
“We don’t have a problem with that and if (the department) follows through with what they have told us, we’ll be very content,” she said.
In its proposal, the Transportation Department says the purpose of this construction is to bypass a section of road that is subject to frequent flooding, often resulting in temporary highway closures.
Construction will be carried out over a two-year period starting this year.
The proposal was registered to the Department of Environment and Conservation on May 12, with a June 20 deadline for public comments and Transportation and Works Minister Joan Shea’s decision due by June 26.
Bob Byrnes, president of the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce and an advocate for the bypass road, said he is pleased the project is finally moving ahead.
“People have been anticipating this project now for seven or eight years,” said Byrnes. “Once the undertaking passes in late June, hopefully it won’t be too long after before construction starts.”
He said the chamber of commerce sees the work as something good for the area, allowing easier access to Stephenville.