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TCH to be closed until Saturday

Transportation and Works has posted an update on progress to fix the sinkhole.
Transportation and Works has posted an update on progress to fix the sinkhole.

The Trans-Canada Highway will be closed until Saturday, acting Transportation Minister Eddie Joyce said on Wednesday.

Transport trucks leave the Department of Transportation and Works depot on Harding Road in the White Hills on Wednesday afternoon with large culverts bound for the Trans-Canada Highway outside St. John’s, where crews are doing repairs.

“I apologize for any inconvenience for people, but safety is of the utmost importance,” Joyce said.

“Crews were working throughout the night (and) will be working throughout the night again tonight.”Of the four culverts running under the highway near Holyrood, Joyce explained, two need to be replaced immediately, not one as previously thought.

This is related to heavy rain last weekend and a sinkhole that opened between lanes of the highway.

Joyce said the government is doing its best, but for the time being, people will have to use Salmonier Line and the Holyrood Access Road to get around that section of the TCH.

The repairs have been causing serious delays at peak times on the road.

There’s more foul weather in the forecast. Joyce said the plan to have the highway open again by Saturday takes that into account, but he’s making no guarantees.

“We’re hoping Saturday,” he said, but workers will be taken off the site if it’s not safe to be there.

“I want to make it quite clear that we will not put anything ahead of safety.”

For the other two culverts, Joyce said, the plan is to put in new liners in the summer, which may cause more traffic disruptions, but nothing immediate.

 

jmcleod@thetelegram,com

Twitter: TelegramJames

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