Labrador paving etc. - Split from Coronavirus thread...

Discussion in 'Newfoundland & Labrador Travel Information' started by RossKean, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    I split this off the Coronavirus thread. It was not especially relevant and thought it would be better to have this stuff somewhere I might find it again! Mods can move it back or delete it if this wasn't appropriate.
    Thanks

    I will be interested in finding out exactly what is paved. I had planned on doing the run up to Manic 5 last year but the weather did not cooperate when I had time available. My preference would be to run the whole Trans Lab but don't think I would do it on my current bike unless most of it was paved (or well packed dirt). Everything is still up in the air - no idea whether significant travel is even an option for this season...

    Some friends put TKC 80's on their FJR's and did the Trans Lab a few years ago. Maybe I'll think about it. A dual sport was in the plans for this year but that might wait another year. On the other hand, there might be some good deals if sellers are hungry this year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    HunterSon likes this.
  2. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    Good call. Funny I'm talking about the Trans Lab on 3 forums right now. I'd really like to run it again before it's all paved.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    I did it in 2012, and it was mostly gravel, which kept it interesting. I too have thought about making another run, but wonder if it will be less interesting now that it is mostly paved.
     
  4. Backdraft

    Backdraft Active Member

    Did it years ago with Wayne John and Mike. Great trip

    Did it again last year... Boring as heck... Lots of tarmac... Point straight and go
     
  5. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I did it in '08 on the bike and it was fun, I've driven it in a truck a bunch of times up until a few years ago, much less interesting but still a nice enough ride I think.
     
  6. dresda

    dresda Active Member

    I too would like to see a map. Call me a wuss but I'd like to do it on pavement and in my car (while it is still fairly new).
     
  7. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    Note: There is nothing to say that paved is necessarily better than unpaved! Personally, I would rather a recently graded but well packed dirt road over a poorly maintained, broken up and heavily potholed "paved" road. We have some (a lot) of the latter in NB. Found a Wikipedia article that says that the Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Cartwright Junction was supposed to be finished in 2019 but I gather that it isn't all done but possibly on the agenda for this year?
    I have had no luck in finding a map or a definitive write-up on current conditions.

    Excerpt from Wikipedia article from
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Labrador_Highway

    The original western/central portion of the TLH is designated as Route 500 and measures 543 km (337 mi) divided as follows:
    Heading southeast is Route 510, the north portion of the TLH that has been designated Labrador Coastal Drive and measures 606 km (377 mi) divided as follows:
    The TLH runs through dense wilderness for most of its length with no roadside services between communities. The TLH/Labrador Coastal Drive connects with Quebec Route 389, which runs 567 km (352 mi) through wilderness north from Baie-Comeau to the Quebec - Labrador boundary.
     
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  8. Bueller

    Bueller New Member

    Last time I was there, 3 summers ago I think, when the Muskrat Falls transformers were trucked in the truck traffic and dust clouds were horrendous.

    I don’t know if now that is over with has the big truck traffic is still as bad
     
  9. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    There are always trucks running that road.
     
  10. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    If not for the need to run trucks for mining and hydro, there wouldn't be any paving (and not much in the way of roads).
    They don't exactly build 1700 km of highway through the wilderness for adventure riders and sight-seeing.
    Same with the Haul Road in Alaska, it wouldn't even exist if not for oil at Prudhoe Bay.
     
  11. Bueller

    Bueller New Member

    Yes you have a point, riding past a tractor trailers every 10 minutes driving 80+kph with the dust cloud and flying stones doesn’t make for a fun ride all the same . You can’t see, can’t stop or the one following you will roll over you.
    Might have been unusually high activity due to the construction or is that the norm there ?
     
  12. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    Churchill Falls was commissioned in 1974... took them a long time to get to the paving. Lab City iron ore goes by rail same with Lac Bloom so I don't think the hydro and mines are driving the asphalt on this route.

    Bueller is right the dust will have you praying for rain. Both my trips were damp.
     
  13. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    The road and the paving of same are a political statement from the govt to the people of the Big Land. They keep the economy of the island afloat for a couple hundred years and expect some services. Although I understand the lure of the dirt for ADV types I get the desire to feel your contribution is valued and your needs are just as important as the Townies.
    I also see that tourism will get a big big boost when you don't need to worry about the clouds of dust but there still will be the clouds of flies.
     
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  14. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    100% political and long overdue for the people of Labrador. Hopefully many more people visit especially people from the island of Newfoundland who have never been to this part of their Province. Amazing land and people. I've been very lucky to have visited parts of it for work and recreation.
     
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  15. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    But it will suck when the pavement goes to shit like it has between Blanc Sablon and Red Bay, it will be left to rot.
     
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    When this highway was all gravel, it was constantly maintained and usually always in good condition. Once it becomes all paved, I fear the maintenance upkeep won't be as good.....so I predict lots of rippled pavement, potholes, washout sections, cracks/crack sealing etc.
     
  17. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    I've done the road several times in cube van, and I could literally shovel the dust that accumulated inside the box! On bike, the blinding dust was a serious concern especially riding in a group. The transport trucks don't usually slow down or move over any. I really found the Scala Headset to be a life saver when I did this trip on bike, to keep in communication with the bike in front/behind me during the blinding dust.
     
  18. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    It was terrible in 2017 and I think it was finally repaired (patched up?) after much well deserved uproar and outrage. Same thing with this replacement ferry. The people of Labrador deserve better.
     
  19. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I found the trucks often slowed down a little for me, sure there was dust but a little prudence goes a long way, like slowing down.

    At least you can grade gravel to keep the road in good condition but spring and fall were hell. I've driven it in the mud and when the potholes freeze it's a whole different kind of hell. Agreed the people of Labrador deserve better for supplying 50% of the country's iron ore.

    But like we're saying you can't grade broken pavement. In only 2 years I was seeing the new pavement starting to break down up there.
     
  20. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    Our Government will always promise a Mercedes, tender a Honda Accord and deliver a used Hyundai Pony... behind schedule and over budget with a political scandal requiring an enquiry.
     
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