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Work in progress on $2-million road upgrades heading to Bonavista Peninsula

The landscape is changing as workers upgrade the section of highway from George’s Brook (Route 231) to the Bonavista Peninsula (Route 230). In the background you can see a section of the older road.
The landscape is changing as workers upgrade the section of highway from George’s Brook (Route 231) to the Bonavista Peninsula (Route 230). In the background you can see a section of the older road.

CLARENVILLE, NL - Traffic has slowed to a crawl and clouds of dust billow out from behind slow-moving cars and trucks as they inch long their way along the road from George's Brooke (Route 231) to Route 230.

There's a major overhaul going on here, and driver’s travelling this route for the summer will have be prepared to slow down, and stop several times along this 12 kilometre stretch of road.

Heavy equipment has torn up the most of this section of road, bulled back the earth to widen and straighten, and hauled in stone to build up and level the route.

Later this summer a brand new coat of asphalt will complete the job.

Once the work is completed, drivers will notice a remarkable difference in the grade of the road. The narrow and winding road over dips and hollows is being replaced with a highway that is wider, straighter and more level, with gradual curves and inclines.

Meanwhile, there’s still a lot of hauling, digging, dumping and grading to be done.

This is the first major work on this section of highway to be done in more than 10 years, according to the Department of Transportation and Works.

A department spokesperson said recent previous work in this section includes bridges in George’s Brook replaced in 2006, and various sections of repaving in 2005 and 2006.

Work on the current overhaul began last year and will be finished later this fall.

Some sections of the highway have been graded to a fairly smooth gravel path. However, in other sections rough stone means slowing to a crawl.

The total cost of this upgrade is over $2 million — $2,354,601 to be exact.

In addition to upgrading and paving the road, the project involves clearing and replacing deteriorated driveway culverts and road culverts, and replacing guide rail and signs.

While driving through the area will be tediously slow, dusty and rough for the rest of the summer, drivers will be rewarded with a wider straighter highway linking the Clarenville to George’s Brook area to the Bonavista Peninsula highway.

Fortunately, as well, there is a way to avoid the frustration of driving through a construction zone.

Folks aiming to get to the Bonavista Peninsula might consider taking the exit off the Trans-Canada Highway, just a few kilometers west of Clarenville, which is a direct route from the TCH to Bonavista.

Meanwhile, this roadwork is not the only work being conducted on the Bonavista Peninsula this year.

There are several points along the construction zone where flagpersons are stationed to stop or re-direct traffic.

The department says work is also being done on a section of road from Port Rexton to Champney’s Arm. Work here includes clearing ditches, replacing culverts, guiderails and signs, and widening and repaving the highway. A turning lane is also being added at the intersection of Route 230 and Route 230-19.

The highway will also be upgraded and repaved from Morris Pond to Melrose. That work will begin later this year.

With lots of heavy equipment on the move, drivers can expect delays travelling through this 12 kilometre section of highway.

The intersection of Route 230 and Route 230-24 will also include the addition of a left turning lane.

“Work has not yet begun on these two latter sections but is also expected to be completed by the fall,” the department confirmed in an email.

The cost of those two pieces of work is $2,496,041.

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