By ROSALYN ROY
SOUTHWEST COAST — Jamie Warren, Executive Director of the Newfoundland T’Railway Council says it is still far to early to determine just what damage has been done to the trail system and when it might get fixed. Warren has seen videos and photos of some of the damage, but the route along the Southwest Coast region will have to be checked thoroughly by inspectors.
“You have to figure out what’s there, what needs to be fixed, how it’s going to be fixed, what it’s going to cost to fix, so without sizing it up and doing your due diligence you can’t determine that,” said Warren on Friday, Nov. 26. “We’ll have someone from the province out to have a look.”
That’s not going to happen until the Trans Canada Highway repairs are complete either. Until the assessment is completed, the Southwest portion of the T’Railway system will have to remain closed.
“(We) shut the trail down yesterday just in the interests of safety because who knows what sinkholes or soft spots or other areas are going away,” said Warren.
Given the unseasonably warm weather, ATV and outdoor enthusiasts have continued to use the trail system, and even in the winter months it remains popular with snowmobile enthusiasts.
“We’ll go as far as we can,” says Warren, pointing at the St. Andrews trestle as one example. “It may need an engineering assessment to see if the abutments moved or if the underneath is secure.”
Depending on the inspection findings, Warren says that repairs can still take place even if the region gets snow.
“That will be an engineer / civil construction company’s call. If we can get some things repaired, even temporarily repaired until next spring, we will.”