TCH shutdown near Avondale starts tonight

A section of the Trans-Canada Highway will shut down starting Friday night so a massive culvert can be replaced. 

There have been lane reductions, both east and westbound, near Avondale over the last several days, but the road will close completely starting at 6:30 p.m.

Traffic will be rerouted through Salmonier Line, the Conception Bay Highway and the Avondale Access Road.

The highway is expected to reopen the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 17, but with one lane in each direction, instead of the regular two.

Transportation Minister Steve Crocker admitted the strategy wasn't exactly flawless, but ultimately a shutdown was the most efficient way to get the project done.

"We know there's gonna be traffic challenges on the weekend … in ideal situations — about a 20 minute detour, we realize that it won't be a 20 minute detour," Crocker said.

"We know there will be traffic issues here this weekend."

Workers are installing 80-metre culverts in the area, which requires digging an 8-metre-deep trench and placing the culvert in the ground in small sections.

The two pipes being replaced are 30 years old.

Work was scheduled for last weekend, but the arrival of Hurricane Dorian's stormy remnants prompted officials to postpone the dig.

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