Calcium Chloride going back on the roads

Adam Randell
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Dust may no longer be such a problem on gravel roads across the province.

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The Department of Transportation and Works recently announced that they have made a decision to reapply calcium chloride to provincial government-owned gravel roads where there are permanent residents.

The decision was made after residents raised their concerns to the government.

The calcium chloride prevented dust produced on the roads from polluting the air. Without it, people in communities with gravel roads were experiencing breathing problems.

“The Department of Transportation and Works is always evaluating programs and services to ensure that they best meet the needs of residents,” said a department statement released to the Northern Pen.

Two weeks ago, the Northern Pen reported that Cartwright-L’Anse-au-Clair MHA Lisa Dempster was petitioning hard to get calcium chloride back on the gravel roads throughout the province.

A number of communities in her district, from Mary’s Harbour to Cartwright, experienced issues with the dusty roads.

Dempster said she was very pleased with the news.

‎”This was an insignificant amount of money that saw a dust control measure applied to provincially owned gravel roads,” says Dempster. “It made a huge difference to residents from communities in South East Labrador in terms of the quality of life. People with asthma, and other respiratory problems were facing increased breathing challenges since funding for this program was cut.”

She adds it was also a nuisance as dust would stick to clothes on the lines, would prevent people from walking, and was a danger to children outside with the reduced visibility.

“We have so many issues in the district as it is, we must do all we can to maintain what we have while continuing to fight for better. Sometimes bad decisions are made and it's imperative they be revisited. This is one such example.”

The tender to purchase calcium chloride was released on June 6, 2014 and is set to close on June 20, 2014.

Government is looking to have crews on the road as quickly as possible after the tender is awarded.

Organizations: Department of Transportation and Works, Calcium Chloride

Geographic location: South East Labrador

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