Team Gushue Highway finally spans Topsail Road as overpass construction begins

1 / 2
Team Gushue Highway finally spans Topsail Road as overpass construction begins

With painstaking precision, a crane operator hoisted a massive beam of concrete and steel and moved it into its place above Topsail Road in St. John's on Saturday morning.

It was one of 16 spans that will make up an overpass on Team Gushue Highway — the long, embattled project of the provincial government to link the city's west end to the Outer Ring Road.

Traffic shut down Saturday morning and will remain closed throughout the weekend.

As of noon Saturday, five spans had been put in place, with the 16th expected to be completed sometime Sunday.

The first section of the highway was opened in June 2006, months after a 26-year-old Brad Gushue won Olympic gold in Italy.

The first public tender for the section of the project being built now was issued in 2011, when Team Gushue (with Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Danbrook) was one season removed from missing the Vancouver Olympics and the province had not yet sanctioned the Muskrat Falls project.

Since then, the provincial government has spent nearly $40 million on the highway, with an additional $13.7 million set aside this year for the completion as far as Topsail Road.

Cars are expected to be travelling on the highway by the end of this year's construction season, but it remains unknown when the road will be finished to Pitts Memorial Drive.