From Summer 2012, before construction started:
The Government of Prince Edward Island has approved a plan to reroute the Trans Canada Highway through Bonshaw and New Haven, utilizing funds from the federal Atlantic Gateway fund. The Government's information on this proposal is found here.
Islanders are opposing this proposal (nicknamed Plan B) for a myriad of reasons.
The basic process has been flawed. Islanders did not see the plans for this project before it was approved by Cabinet in December 2011, despite claims the process for selection was "Open and Transparent." The Province of PEI has a debt of $2 billion and a deficit this year of nearly $100 million. With a population of only 140,000 residents, we cannot afford $12 million for 6km of road. This is quite simply a waste of taxpayers' money.
The existing highway is already four-lane in parts, and with upgrades to sections, can be made safer at a fraction of the cost. Transportation officials admitted they used data from outside the Plan B site to "improve" the collision numbers and refused to release data upon which they claim the road has 56% more accidents than anywhere else. In fact, the statistics eventually released October 12th indicate that driver error is the main cause of accidents. Basing a huge project on the promotion and manipulation of erroneous data is indefensible. links
This proposal will cut two scars into the wooded and farmed hillsides of Bonshaw and New Haven, home to some of the most scenic areas on the island. It will move the TCH directly above part of the Bonshaw trail and popular fishing areas. Several residents will be removed from their homes. Businesses and farmers will have poorer access to their livelihoods. Wooded properties will be bisected, an ancient pine and hemlock grove will be obliterated, and five beautiful ravines and numerous streams and watercourses altered by 30 metres of fill needed to meet grade requirement. Officials estimate it will take 140,000 truckloads of shale to fill in the ravines.
(photo of woods west of Crawford's Brook in Churchill, PEI. As of winter 2013, these woods, the hillside, and the community of Churchill no longer exist.)