Plan B work continues despite protesters efforts

Work crews are continuing to get work done at the site of construction to realign the Trans-Canada Highway in New Haven, despite the efforts of protesters.

Protesters camping out near the construction area, to try to stop work crews from cutting down some hemlocks, believed to be up to 200 years old.

Those trees, for now, are in an area that is clear of workers.

"We made an assessment," said Stephen Yeo, P.E.I.'s chief engineer. "There's a lot of areas where we still have work to do."

But Yeo says that could change at any time.

The protesters have made a mess of the work schedule at the Trans-Canada Highway realignment project. Work was supposed to start last week but protesters got in the way of machinery and crews were told stop work until more than six kilometres of fence was built around the entire job site. Police said it was a safety issue.

"We did decide to come over to the south side of the road and do some work on Encounter Creek," said Yeo. "We have been working on the other end of the project in the Bonshaw area and that's progressing, so work is continuing."

The project, which received environmental approval early last week, would require clear cutting a number of hemlock trees. It will also run through four watercourses in the central part of the province.

Proponents for the project argue the realignment is necessary to make a winding, dangerous stretch of highway safer for motorists.

Peter Bevan-Baker, P.E.I.'s incoming Green Party leader, was served trespassing papers during a protest Tuesday. Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May has thrown her support behind Bevan-Baker and the protesters.

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