Occupational Stop-Work Order Slows Highway Traffic
A stop-work order by Occupational Health and Safety slowed down traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway for the last few days, especially near Benton.
The highway has been temporarily blocked for extended periods about two kilometres west of Benton. It was closed for up to two hours at a time and will continue to be closed sporadically until work is completed.
The slowdowns were the result of changes in the length of taper lanes, made after Occupational Health and Safety issued a stop-work order to the contractor Tuesday. The order was for the contractor to extend the length of the taper lanes.
Transportation Minister Paul Davis says it was necessary to ensure road safety. It was after 9 p.m. Thursday that traffic could flow in both directions. Work resumed Friday morning, but there were fewer delays than earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, Transportation and Works is still dealing with a stop-work order against the department for the entire Trans-Canada Highway, issued on July 31. Davis says that order is not connected to the death of a transportation worker in western Newfoundland on July 23.
He says the department is meeting with Occupational Health and Safety to resolve the situation and expects maintenance work to continue next week on the Trans-Canada Highway. Davis admitted that a stop-work order for the entire highway is unusual.
“I’m not aware of it happening prior to now,” he said.