By Kayla Fraser
Jan. 21, 2014
Most Islanders have their own contingency plan in the event of an extended closure of the Confederation Bridge, a Surveyor survey suggests.
A new contingency plan released by Transport Canada in the event of a closure of the bridge helps highlight the procedures of what would occur.
If the bridge were to close for longer than 24 hours, new ferry routes would be planned, as well as increased air routes.
For some Island residents, they are not overall concerned for themselves, unless it was an emergency. They are concerned for Island businesses.
Larry Tweed said it all depends on the weather. In the winter, you’re stuck because the ferry isn’t running, he said.
“I wouldn’t panic, because there’s always a way off the Island. So if you can’t get off, you can always, for any medical emergency, there’s always a helicopter or a plane. So there’s no real panic.”
He said food supplies might run out, but that can by brought by boat or plane eventually.
“We’re not really cut off… in the winter we still have access to flights, so that’s not a big deal.”
Leslie Holt said it wouldn’t really bother her, unless there was a family emergency.
“It does affect the businesses,” she said.
Eryn Callin said in an emergency, you would have to fly if the boats weren’t running.
“If the ferries are not running. I would say they need an emergency ferry, definitely. Because flying is so expensive… and I guess for shipments and trucks and things like that, you definitely need a ferry service.”
She said she would fly if there was an emergency.
“You have your savings account for that.”
Tricia Thompson said it wouldn’t be great and she wouldn’t like it.
“I guess my concern is for emergencies. Health emergencies or one needed to get to appointments or doctor’s appointments off-Island.”
She said other than that, she wouldn’t be too concerned because she doesn’t have anywhere to be.
“There has to be some other way to get out of here.”
Tiffany Holt said she does spend some time going across the bridge and she is sure there would be a lot of traffic back up if it were to close.
She said if it were to close permanently, there would be a lot of issues and people would have to find alternate travel routes.
“A lot of the Island would be affected because one of the main reasons is that the Island has been able to grow over the last 10 years is because that bridge was built and so all your transport trucks can bring more than mainstream items across rather than having to deal with ferries.”
She said the ferries would be troublesome and there could be short-term panic for people looking to get their goods.
She said a short-term thing wouldn’t be too big of a deal, and the ferry would have to make more trips for the transport trucks that take up a lot of room.
“We are reliant on the bridge but it’s not necessarily something that is going to destroy our economy…”
Erroll Affleck said the first impact would be if he had already planned a trip off-Island and had to find another route. He said he would most likely take the ferry if it was running.
“If it was something I had to get to on a very short notice, I may even have to look into the possibility of an airline flight.”
He said if it was nothing immediate and needed to plan something in the future, he would have to base his plans around if the bridge was open or not.
“By this becoming public knowledge now, I think it’s going to make the citizens, business, and government a lot more aware and we are hoping that nothing’s going to happen in the near future.”