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Bonavista Bay residents take to social media for road advocacy

Garry Keough of Open Hall.
Garry Keough of Open Hall. - Jonathan Parsons

‘Route 235 Road Repair Advocates’ page created on Facebook

The deteriorating state of one particular road, the Bonavista Bay Highway, Route 235 has led local residents to band together on social media, decrying the condition of the road while also pushing for change.

Garry Keough of Open Hall began the Facebook page “Route 235 Road Repair Advocates”.

The group has over 200 likes from people all over the peninsula as of Friday, Nov. 9.

He told The Packet the idea stemmed from hearing the province’s five-year road plan would not include any work on their side of the peninsula at all.

He says while he appreciated much of the decision-making resulted from an Engage NL online survey, he feels more could have been done to let people know about that process, especially seniors in the area who aren’t as computer savvy.

“We wanted to get the word out … we know our roads are poor, you (local citizens) need to do this survey if you can,” Keough told The Packet.

He says they’re not only concerned about the poor condition of the roads, but the safety risks but this poses. He noted brush alongside the road obscures drivers’  line of sight,  and there are falling rocks at the section of the highway called the “Jigging Head”.

Keough says the condition of Route 235 is a major impact on the region.

“From an economic standpoint, if affects tourism, it affects visitors to the area. And our area is becoming more of a destination for tourists.”

The trip itself, over a road that it unsuitable, could generate a negative reaction to a tourist’s experience, he says — especially with the instant effect of social media.

That’s why he’s using the social media of Facebook for this local cause, hoping it will lead to changes for the road that runs from Charleston to Bonavista.

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When highways are in poor shape, it impacts many aspects of life in Newfoundland and Labrador

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