RCMP increases highway patrols around Bull Arm

Shuttle service begins for Hebron project workers

Ashley Fitzpatrick afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com
Published on August 20, 2013
Work has been undertaken to better mark the entrance to Nalcor Energy’s Bull Arm fabrication site. Seen here on Aug. 10, heavy equipment has been clearing vegetation and land from the side of the Trans-Canada Highway. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

In response to a story published Tuesday, Aug. 13, about changes to the entrance to the Bull Arm fabrication site, a single complaint was sent to The Telegram. It was not about changes at the entrance, but rather focused on the actions of drivers as they headed to and from the Trans-Canada Highway turnoff.

“Not all by any sense of the imagination, but too many at change of shift in the early (morning) are travelling at speeds far too excessive both going to work and coming from work. ... Maybe a matter to be brought to attention of our highway enforcement,” stated the email.

The reader did not claim to have seen speeding vehicles first-hand.

Even so, the RCMP were asked what they have recorded around the Bull Arm site turnoff.

“On a shift change you’re getting a lot of vehicles coming and going,” said RCMP Const. Roy Chapel at the Clarenville detachment.

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He said the RCMP has “stepped up” patrols in the area in response to increasing traffic associated with the Hebron offshore oil megaproject.

“We actively enforce the speed limit everywhere on the highway,” he said, highlighting the new slow-down areas around the entrance to Bull Arm.

“All I can say is I advise the public to obey the speed limit, especially around the intersections like that because it gets pretty busy, especially at certain times of day.”

During the public review of the Hebron project, safe travel for the thousands of engineers and construction workers moving to and from the project site was taken into consideration.

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ExxonMobil Canada stated a “project journey management program” would be put in place for site workers and that program is now in place, according to a spokeswoman for the project partners.

“The program prompts employees to consider road and weather conditions, the suitability of the vehicle they will be using for the journey, and, overall, to make informed decisions with respect to travel,” she stated, in an email response to questions. “Employees can plan their journey with TeleLink who will log their route and estimated time of arrival, and record their contact information.”

A daily shuttle service has been taking workers to and from the Tower Corporate Campus in St. John’s.

This week, the Newfoundland Bus Co. (www.newfoundlandbuscompany.com) is expected to begin a bus service for workers between the Bull Arm site, Clarenville and Mount Pearl.

It is not without cost — the shuttle is $20 round trip to Clarenville and $30 to and from Mount Pearl.