LOCAL NEWS - DECEMBER 14, 2020 - Construction on the Route 138 will commence on the LNS this spring
The federal government announced this afternoon that it will finance the construction of two new sections of Route 138, Kegaska to La Romaine and Tête-à-la-Baleineto La Tabatière, totaling an investment of $185 million for the region's infrastructure with those two projects. Quebec's portion of the cost has not yet been determined and will be announced later when all of the final details are outlined.
This major news for the Lower North Shore region was announced this afternoon from Ottawa by the honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities) and the honourable Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Côte-Nord Region (on behalf of François Bonnardel, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for the Estrie Region). In attendance for the announcement by zoom were also local elected officials and administrators of the Basse-Côte-Nord Region; Randy Jones, Warden of the MRC du Golfe du Saint-Laurent and Mayor of Gros Mecatina, Chief Bryan Mark of Unamen Shipu, and Chief Mike McKenzie of Uashat-Maliotenam.
"The federal government can build bridges, the province will build roads, and we'll get this country hooked up from one end to the other," said Minister Joly, quoting Warden Randy Jones' previous statement regarding the need to connect the country through the Route 138.
Quebec has already launched a call for tenders for a soil study earlier this fall to develop two other sections of road, one between La Romaine and Tête-à-la-Baleine, as well as another between La Tabatière and Old Fort. These sections (approx. 300 km), would complete the Route 138 connection of the Lower North Shore to the rest of the province, a long awaited connection by the population of the region. To quote Warden Randy Jones excitement during the announcement, "YAHOOOOOO!" will be a reaction across the Lower North Shore region today. Mr. Jones expressed his thanks to the federal government on behalf of the population and also to Chief McKenzie and Chief Mark for their collaboration in lobbying the government for the continuation of route 138.
CFBS asked Minister Julien if all should go as planned for the timeline completion of the Route 138 connecting the Lower North Shore to the rest of the province, if there was an estimate for how many years the completion of the project would take. Minister Julien said that they will have a clearer picture once the work begins this coming spring in the two portions mentioned, Kegaska to La Romaine and Tête-à-la-Baleineto La Tabatière. At that time they will have more of an idea, especially after the info is obtained from the soil studies being carried out in the other areas of the Lower North Shore where there will be work on connecting the Route 138.
FINISHING THE ROUTE 138, FROM WEST TO EAST
- Kegaska to La Romaine: Approximately 50 km, CONFIRMED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- La Romaine to Tête-à-la-Baleine: Approximately 200 km, SOIL STUDIES BEING CARRIED OUT
- Tête-à-la-Baleine to La Tabatière: Approximately 30 km, CONFIRMED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- La Tabatière to Old Fort: Approximately 100 km, SOIL STUDIES BEING CARRIED OUT
Watch the live feed of the Infrastructure announcement here: