Although Abitibi-Consolidated is no longer in operation, Peter Fenwick is advocating a woods road the company owned on the insular portion of the province be maintained as a mid-island route.
The chairman of the South West Coast Joint Council said in a prepared release one of the highest priorities of the group has been a road connection through the interior that passes by Red Indian Lake and connects central Newfoundland with the south west coast.
Fenwick said for years, while Abitibi-Consolidated was operating, intrepid travellers took the woods road from the Burgeo Highway to meet the Trans-Canada Highway at Badger.
Fenwick said for those brave enough to make the trip, the distance to the east coast shrunk by more than 100 kilometres. For people from Burgeo, Ramea and the south coast the savings in time and miles was even greater.
On June 14 the joint council will be meeting in Burgeo to plan a strategy to ensure the mid-island route is maintained and upgraded so traffic currently on the route can pass safely and tourists and other travellers can avail of the road.
Fenwick said the meeting will be open to the 14 towns of the south west coast, but will also be open to towns of central Newfoundland that would benefit by the mid-island route. Invitations have been sent to Buchans, Millertown, Badger and to the Grand Falls-Windsor town councils requesting a representative be present at the meeting.
The roads by Red Indian Lake are still being used by people on all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel drive vehicles, but without proper maintenance will eventually become impassible. Fenwick also noted the need for directional signage.
“Minimum maintenance and some rudimentary signage and a locally produced map would be enough to make the road safer,” Fenwick said. “We realize it would only be a summer road, but it would do wonders for our tourism industry.”
The meeting will be held at the Burgeo town council office at 10 a.m. on June 14.