That’s according to John Finn, MHA for Stephenville-Port au Port, who sat in on the Monday meeting with representatives of the joint council, Peter Fenwick and Barbara Barter, along with Buchans Mayor Derm Crobett, MHA Scott Reid and Minister of Transportation and Works Al Hawkins.
Finn said a wish of the Southwest Coast Joint Council is to see progress on the mid-island route, and as a member of the House of Assembly representing a number of communities that it could affect, he will try to help them.
He said the joint council sees this road as an opportunity for tourism potential as well as an exit route if something happened to the highway in the central portion of the province west of Badger.
Finn said this particular route is considered a resource road and these types of roads have their own budgetary items, with about $3.6 million allocated for resource roads in the provincial government’s budget.
He said these are primarily to do with access roads for forestry and mining, and if work is being done in the area with respect to either of those industries, they would draw from that fund to improve the roads.
“However, there is no forestry or mining going in there right now. Should that change, there would have to be thought given to the condition of that road,” Finn said.
He said there are approximately 12,000 kilometres of resource roads in the province’s inventory list, but only a fraction are currently being used for mining or forestry.
Finn said that could change for that particular road, but at this time little is happening.
Fenwick, chairman of the Southwest Coast Joint Council, said in a report to his members that the meeting with Hawkins, his senior official and his assistant was very productive.
Fenwick is working in conjunction with other groups to have signage placed in the area, after making the trek across the mid-island route on Monday, now that it is passable in vehicles with good clearance.