Route con­nect­ing Buchans and Bur­geo road set to re­open

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Front Page - BY JOR­DAN MALONEY SPE­CIAL TO THE AD­VER­TISER edi­tor@ad­ver­tis­

Af­ter five years of per­sis­tent ef­fort, the road be­tween Buchans and Bur­geo has been re­stored and will be us­able for most mo­tor ve­hi­cles once the snow melts in spring.

Ac­cord­ing to Peter Fen­wick, mayor of the Town of Cape St. Ge­orge and chair of the South West Coast Joint Coun­cil, the last part of the road has been graded and sev­eral bridges in dan­ger of col­laps­ing were re­placed.

“(Gov­ern­ment) cut back the brush, they did the ditch­ing, they did quite a bit of work over about a three or four-year pe­riod,” he told the Ad­ver­tiser.

Al­though us­ing the route would trim more than 200 kilo­me­tres off the drive from the south­west coast towns of Bur­geo and Ramea to cen­tral New­found­land, users shouldn’t ex­pect high­way con­di­tions.

“It’s a for­est ac­cess road, so it’s not kept in the same con­di­tions as the Trans-Canada,” he said. “You will not be able to go very fast, maybe 50, 60, 70 kilo­me­tres an hour is as good as you can make on the best parts of it.”

Fen­wick also warns users to make sure they have a full tank of gas be­fore set­ting out, as there are no gas sta­tions along the route.

And sig­nage is not what a driver would ex­pect to see on the TCH, he said.

“Be­cause it’s a for­est ac­cess road, they don’t put sig­nage up,” said Fen­wick. “For us who know where it is, who know where the turns are, that’s no prob­lem, but for peo­ple who are just go­ing through there as tourists, they would get lost.”

The joint coun­cil has de­vel­oped about 20 ba­sic signs, “which es­sen­tially just say ‘Buchans’ on one side and ‘Bur­geo Road’ on the other, and there will be ar­rows on them,” said Fen­wick.

Joint coun­cil vice-chair and Bur­geo Mayor Bar­bara Barter, along with other cabin own­ers around the re­opened stretch of road, have agreed to help put signs up as soon as the weather per­mits.

Eco­nomic growth

Buchans Mayor Derm Cor­bett sees the po­ten­tial for eco­nomic growth the road cre­ates for the area.

“We’ve have ATVers who’ve come that route in packs and bunches, and they’ll gas up and go over and have a lunch or a meal,” he said. “At cer­tain times of year they’ll go on in (to town) and have a look around the mu­seum and spend some time. So there’s no ques­tion about it, hav­ing that route open (will stim­u­late lo­cal econ­omy).”

Cor­bett also sees the prac­ti­cal­ity of the route along with its eco­nomic ben­e­fit.

“Peo­ple in pickup trucks, the peo­ple in four-wheel drives, they will ac­tu­ally take that route and cut a cou­ple of hours off a trip to Port aux Basques.”

Fen­wick says the road opens up an in­te­rior area of the prov­ince that many peo­ple don’t get the chance to see.

“It’s ab­so­lutely gor­geous, it’s a beau­ti­ful stretch of land,” Fen­wick said. “The fact that we haven’t de­vel­oped the tourist po­ten­tial there is a crime, and this is the kind of thing that will start that.”

Fen­wick is hope­ful the road us­age will open a few eyes in pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“I’m hop­ing that in the fu­ture enough de­mand will have oc­curred, and we’re at a point where the prov­ince will look at it and say, ‘well maybe this should be a high­way.’”


Peter Fen­wick and Bar­bara Barter, the chair and vice chair of the South West Coast joint coun­cil, cel­e­brate the reopen­ing of the route con­nect­ing Buchans and the Bur­geo road.


The road from Bur­geo to Buchans could cut at least two hours off the drive from the south coast to the cap­i­tal.

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