The Lure of Labrador – When will we be connected?

The Strait of Belle Isle at its shortest distance is just 9 miles of water. In the 1970’s there was drilling on both ends of the Strait to build a tunnel connecting the island to mainland Canada. All of this ended with a change of Government. A tunnel does not appear to be on the radar of Government at any level. It makes practical sense to work with Quebec to cost-share this project as they complete the Lower North Shore Highway, Route 138 in the next 5 or so years.

This completion of this Route will significantly change the way one travels, as commercial traffic will be re-routed from Montreal using this highway and a much shorter ferry crossing. I would even be able to drive to Montreal to see the Habs play the Leafs. With or without a tunnel, there must be appropriate planning to deal with capacity on the Route 138, Route 430 and Trans-Labrador Highway. There are services and business opportunities that will come with these new highways. The opening of the Trans-Labrador Highway saw an increase in 18% ferry passenger traffic in the Strait of Belle Isle from May-October from 65,000 passengers to 77,400. Will we be ready for Route 138?

Why not build a tunnel? They have built the Chunnel connecting London, England to Paris, France by underground tunnel and train. The Scandinavian countries have several underground tunnels spanning a far greater distance than just 9 miles and comparable, if not worse weather conditions. There may be significant cost-savings by completing this project, as the Feds would not need to subsidize Marine Atlantic at their current levels. A greater focus could be placed on passenger traffic and promote tourism, as well as reduce user rates.

As a means to re-ignite economic activity on the Great Northern Peninsula, this is one of the many answers. Newfoundland & Labrador is one province and should be connected. We should be a part of mainland Canada, as is the case with every other province and territory in the country.

In the meantime, I continue to see the Big Land every day when I awake from my bedroom window and the lights twinkle at night. Some day that Lure of Labrador will be that much closer.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

About Live Rural NL

I am a youth living in rural Newfoundland & Labrador that will share stories of culture, tradition, heritage, business, travel, geography and other posts relating to any rural. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce Hons. (Coop) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador. I currently live and work on the Great Northern Peninsula, where I was born and raised. However, I have lived and worked internationally and travelled to more than 30 countries around the globe. On October 11, 2011 I was elected the youngest Member to Represent the people of the Straits -White Bay North in the Provincial Legislature of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Posted on February 6, 2012, in Landscapes/Geography, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Can’t wait to be able to travel the tunnel, all of the difficult projects in the world have been completed, this looks so uncomplicated now with all of the technology available, money is the only obstacle and commitment. You got to want to do something to make it happen. We here just got to want to do it. Thanks for the wonderful write up.
    When I went to school, I saw the sadness of the students from Southern Labrador looking at home but could never get there until June. Can’t imagine the homesickness they felt and the desire to have it better, I hope that I can live long enough to see this happen, this would be the ultimate for me in our development for our people of the North.

    • Advancements in technology and movement toward completing Route 138 makes the economic viability of a tunnel possible. We need to continue to speak up about the tunnel. No longer can we remain quiet and isolated from Labrador and the rest of Mainland Canada and North America.

  2. I also forgot to ad, I look forward to Live Rural Nfld. every morning, I just love your write ups.They are so informative and memorable, this is just wonderful, Tks a Million.
    Dedicated follower

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