SOUTHERN LABRADOR, NL – The Trans-Labrador Highway road report is back up on the government’s website, after being down for a couple days.
The absence of the road report drew concerns from residents as winter conditions persist deep into April.
On Wednesday evening, April 18, Cartwright-L’Anse-au-Clair MHA Lisa Dempster posted to Facebook that the “morning road report and winter crew have been extended for two more weeks.”
After that time, “both will be reviewed again to determine need at that time depending on weather conditions.”
Typically, the winter crew finishes in April and there’s no road report again until October.
However, because of winter highway conditions this April, it was necessary to extend the report this year.
According to L’Anse-au-Loup mayor Trent O’Brien, why it wasn’t updated sooner was a matter of oversight on the part of the Department of Transportation and Works.
“This is the time of year when they normally would cease the road report but no one in the department, at any level, must have kicked up any kind of fuss over it,” he told the Northern Pen. “They just failed to take into account the current winter conditions.”
He says as soon as it was brought to the government’s attention, they worked to rectify the situation.
O’Brien referred to it as “one of the more painless” resolutions in his experience working with the provincial government.
O’Brien says the road report is not as important for people in the area who travel daily and are familiar with the roads and the conditions. But he stresses the importance of having a road report, especially for travellers passing through southern Labrador.
“The road report is especially important when you have these kinds of conditions,” he said. “It lets you know if the road is open, and if it is open, what the conditions are, what to expect, both in terms of snow conditions and mud conditions in certain sections.
“It helps people make their plans accordingly, when they’re traveling for medical appointments whether they should fly or drive. It could even affect what vehicle you’re going to take. If you know the conditions are poor, you’re probably not going to drive a car this time of year because you’re not going to make it. Without that, there’s an area with no cellphone service, so you really don’t know what you’re getting into.”