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Fixed link from Newfoundland to Labrador

Fixed link from Newfoundland to Labrador

A study on a fixed link from Newfoundland to Labrador, funded by the province and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, was completed by Memorial University's Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development.

Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development completed the report that is an update of the 2004 study by the Harris Centre. The 2004 study provided an independent examination of the economic and technical implications and the construction viability of a fixed transportation link across the Strait of Belle Isle.

The updated report includes new geological research, innovations in tunnel  technology, updated labour and material costs, and other factors that may have an impact on the original cost and time estimates. The report includes a review of three fixed link tunnel concepts: a single rail, single road, and double road. It concludes that a tunnel bored using TBM, with an electric train shuttle to transport vehicles, is the most technically and economically feasible alternative.

The study recommends an underwater tunnel that would see a single, 18 km train line run back and forth, 20 m below the sea floor of the Strait of Bell Isle in its most narrow point, with train cars carrying 197 vehicles in one direction at a time, with a crossing time estimated between 30 and 80 m. 

Click here for the report.

The estimated cost of construction would be $1.6 billion for that line. When factoring estimated finance expenses, the cost is actually $2.7 billion.

The tunnel would take 15 years to complete. The proposed 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.

Another option proposed by the engineering firm would see an underwater, one-way road that would cost $2.064 billion to construct, with similar increases in cost once financing is considered. The road tunnel would take 14 year to complete.

At a news conference on the 11-04-2018, Premier Dwight Ball said that the  government accepts the study and will soon conduct another feasibility study – estimated to cost around $20 million. It will determine the possibility of a link in greater detail. Visit http://www.tw.gov.nl.ca/. 15/18.


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Beakaert Maccaferri: bm-underground.com