ST. JOHN'S —
A new study says a single rail link connecting Labrador to the island of Newfoundland would cost about $1.7 billion and take 15 years to complete.
Premier Dwight Ball released the preliminary study on the economic feasibility of a fixed link under the Strait of Belle Isle today.
The link would offer increased mobility to Labrador’s 27,000 residents and potentially bring more tourism dollars to communities around Yankee Point in Newfoundland, as well as saving travel time for truck drivers crossing from Quebec.
The strait of Belle Isle separates Newfoundland from mainland Labrador’s 27,000 residents. Image via Google Maps.
The study, funded by the province and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, was completed by Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development.
Ball says the province will now look at finding other funding partners for a full feasibility study, and said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was interested in their meeting Tuesday in Ottawa.
He also says they’re going to carefully consider their options before spending more money on the actual study.
Alvin Simms of the Harris Centre told reporters that a more detailed study would survey residents and potential users to gauge interest and more accurate traffic numbers.
The study is an updated version of a 2004 report that did not progress past the research stage.