NDP NEWS RELEASE - June 26, 1996

NDP NEWS RELEASE - June 26, 1996

NDP CaucusJohn Holm, MLA (Sackville Cobequid)


     NDP Transportation Critic John Holm has called on Premier John Savage to
ensure that there is an independent assessment of the safety issues posed by 
the presence of abandoned mine workings on a stretch of the proposed
Highway 104 route near Londonderry.

     In an open letter Wednesday to the Premier, Holm says a study prepared 
for the Transportation Department in 1993 by Dr. Peter Cain of Jacques 
Whitford and Associates pointed to "very serious safety concerns" in the 
Londonderry area.

     Holm points out that the report warned that the construction corridor 
for the road "crosses a number of undefined but demonstrably unstable 
mine workings...the area must be considered to be hazardous and extreme 
caution used when moving or working with heavy equipment in the area."

     The government has not taken those concerns seriously enough, said Holm.
"The record up to now makes it clear that neither the Department of 
Transportation not the Atlantic Highways Corporation, created by your 
government, appears to be interested in fully investigating theses 
hazards. They seem more intent on trying to minimize the problems so that 
the road may be constructed as quickly and cheaply as possible."

     Holm said construction should not be allowed to resume in the Londonderry
area until an independent assessment identifies all avoidable hazards and 
takes measures to address them. The full text of the letter follows.