Trans-Labrador Highway

Route map:
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Route 500 marker

Route 510 marker

Trans-Labrador Highway

Route 500
Route 510
QC 389 & Trans-Labrador Hwy, Paved and unpaved
Route information
Maintained by Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
Length1,149 km (714 mi)
Route 500
Length543 km (337 mi)
South end R-389 at Quebec border near Labrador City
Major intersections Route 503 in Wabush
Route 510 near Happy Valley-Goose Bay
North end Route 520 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Route 510
Length606 km (377 mi)
South end R-138 at Quebec border near Blanc-Sablon, QC
Major intersections Route 516 to Cartwright

Route 514 to Charlottetown

Route 513 to St. Lewis
North end Route 500 near Happy Valley-Goose Bay
ProvinceNewfoundland and Labrador
Highway system

Route 490 Route 500 Route 503

Route 503Route 510Route 513
Start of Phase III of Trans-Labrador Highway, a 250 kilometres (160 mi) gravel road between Cartwright Junction and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, 2004
Route 500 highlighted in red, Route 510 highlighted in orange

The Trans-Labrador Highway (TLH) is the primary public road in Labrador, the mainland portion of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The highway's total length is 1,149 km (714 mi). The paving of the entire highway was completed in July 2022.[1]

The original western/central portion of the TLH is designated as Route 500 and measures 543 km (337 mi) divided as follows:

Heading southeast is Route 510, the north portion of the TLH that has been designated Labrador Coastal Drive and measures 606 km (377 mi) divided as follows:

The TLH runs through dense wilderness for most of its length with no roadside services between communities. Route 500 connects with Quebec Route 389, which runs 567 km (352 mi) through wilderness north from Baie-Comeau to the Quebec - Labrador boundary. Cell phone reception along the Trans-Labrador Highway is limited.[4]

In the 2020 budget, the provincial government allocated $200,000 for a pre-feasibility study for a road to connect the north coast of Labrador to the Trans-Labrador Highway.[5][6][7]

Construction and development[edit]

Trans-Labrador highway in Division No. 10, Subdivision D, NL in 2010

Phase I, upgrading Labrador West to Happy Valley-Goose Bay[edit]

The original TLH from Labrador West (Labrador City/Wabush) to Happy Valley-Goose Bay was completed in 1992.[8][9][10] Some sections were poorly built or in need of upgrades due to increased traffic use, particularly the section between Churchill Falls and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. In the summer of 1999, $60 million was allocated to upgrade the highway as part of the "Labrador Transportation Initiative".[11]

The Phase I section of the TLH began undergoing paving operations in 2009;[12] by October 2011, a stretch of approximately 140 km (87 mi) leading east from Labrador West had been paved, as well approximately 100 km (62 mi) heading west from Goose Bay towards Churchill Falls.[13][14] The entire Phase I section of the TLH was completed in 2015.[15][16][17][18][19]

Route 510[edit]

In 1997 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador committed to building an extension of the TLH, connecting Happy Valley-Goose Bay with an existing isolated road network serving coastal communities on the Strait of Belle Isle.[20] The impetus for this project was the federal government's desire to cut costs and remove itself from subsidizing coastal ferry service to Labrador outports which was being provided by the federal Crown corporation Marine Atlantic.[21]

These federal cuts were completed in 1997, under the moniker Labrador Transportation Initiative, when an agreement was signed which saw the federal government transfer ownership and operation of two ferry vessels, along with C$340 million for extending Labrador's road network.[22] A key component to this plan was $150 million to upgrade coastal Labrador marine services, including a newer high-capacity ferry for the St. Barbe-Blanc Sablon service across the Strait of Belle Isle.

Route 500 heading towards Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Phase II, Red Bay to Cartwright Junction[edit]

Phase II of new construction, costing $130 million, began in 1999 and saw Route 510 extended 323 km (201 mi) over four years from its terminus in Red Bay northeast to the port of Cartwright.[23][24][25][26] This section was paved as far as Cartwright Junction, the unpaved remainder (to Cartwright) being designated Highway 516.

Phase III, Cartwright Junction to Happy Valley-Goose Bay[edit]

Phase III is a 250 km (160 mi) section of Route 510 built for $130 million south of Lake Melville/Hamilton Inlet to connect Cartwright Junction (94 km (58 mi) south west of Cartwright) with Happy Valley-Goose Bay, completed sufficiently to open to traffic as a gravel road on 16 December 2009.[27][28] During 2010, two permanent bridges, road surface work, signage, and guardrails were completed at a cost of $15 million. The road was then paved except for 36 km (22 mi) from Cartwright Junction westward to Paradise Heights (the divide between the basins of the Paradise River and the Eagle River).[29][30] The remainder was completed in July 2022.[31][32][33]

Route 516 and supplementary routes[edit]

Phase II involved completion of highway north to Cartwright from Red Bay, and was opened in 2002. Although the entire route was initially designated as Route 510, upon completion of Phase III, the northern 94 km (58 mi) from Cartwright Junction (to Cartwright) was designated as Route 516.

Phase II also included other branch routes:

  • Route 513 to St. Lewis
  • Route 514 to Charlottetown and Pinsent Arm

A segment of Quebec Route 138 extends from Old Fort, Quebec to the Newfoundland and Labrador border connecting with Route 510 near Blanc-Sablon on the eastern end of the Côte-Nord.[34] A gap remains between Kegashka and Old Fort, through isolated communities accessible only by coastal ferry.[35][36] On August 25, 2006, the Quebec government announced a 10-year project to connect the two segments by building 425 km of highway along the Lower North Shore. As of 2022, the highway has not been completed.[37][38]

Kilometre markers[edit]

Route 500 between Labrador City and Churchill Falls
Route 500 over Churchill River Bridge

Route 500[edit]

00.0 R-389 south – Fermont, Baie-ComeauServices 3 km (2 mi) to the south in Fermont.
Quebec border
Labrador City17–
All services
Wabush2113 Route 503 south – Wabush Airport
5836springDrinking water (at your own risk)
6138Grande Hermine CampgroundCampground
14087Highway maintenance centreN/A
239149Crosses the Churchill River
Rest stop – Bowdoin Canyon Trail (Churchill Falls)Parking, garbage bin
Churchill Falls261–
 – Churchill Falls AirportAll services
403250Highway maintenance centreN/A
424263Workers campN/A
465289Rest stopGarbage bin
506314Rest stopGarbage bin and picnic table
538334 Route 510 south – Port Hope SimpsonTrans-Labrador Highway follows Route 510
Happy Valley-Goose Bay543337 Route 520 – CFB Goose Bay, North West River
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Route transition

Route 510[edit]

Route 510 between L'Anse-au-Loup and Pinware
Route 510 between Pinware and Red Bay
Route 510 between Port Hope Simpson and Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Route 510, north of Port Hope Simpson in 2016
−4−2.5 R-138 west – Old Fort, Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon Airport
Avenue Jacques Cartier – Blanc-Sablon ferry terminal
Ferry connection to St. Barbe, NL and Route 430
00.0Quebec border
L'Anse-au-Clair42.5All services
Forteau148.7All services
L'Anse-au-Loup2817All services
West St. Modeste4226Restaurant and lodging
Pinware4729Gas and groceries
Red Bay7748All services
10968Rest stopGarbage bin
11873Highway maintenance centreN/A
Lodge Bay15596Groceries; includes rest stop (2 km)
Mary's Harbour162101Lodge Bay Road - Mary's HarbourAll services, except gas
195121 Route 513 east – St. LewisGas, groceries and restaurant (17 km)
Port Hope Simpson216134All services
220140 Route 514 north – Charlottetown, LabradorGas, groceries and restaurant (30 km)
317197Highway maintenance centreN/A
319198 Route 516 north – CartwrightAll services (94 km)
321199(Gravel)Garbage bin and picnic table
447278Workers campN/A
465289Highway maintenance centreN/A
471293Workers campN/A
543337Rest stopN/A
596370Muskrat Falls campN/A
606377Crosses the Churchill River
Happy Valley-Goose Bay Route 500 – Labrador City, Churchill Falls, Happy Valley-Goose BayRest stop; all services 5 km to the east;
Trans-Labrador Highway follows Route 500 south
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

State of the road[edit]

Route 500
Kilometre Description Description[a]
0 to 18 Paved Good
18 to 262 Paved Good[b]
262 to 543 Paved Good
Route 510
Kilometre Description* Description[a]
0 to 77 Paved Good
77 to 216 Paved Good
216 to 220 Paved Good
220 to 319 Paved Good
319 to 445 Paved Good
490 to 526 Paved Good
526 to 606 Paved Good
  1. ^ a b As of July 2016
  2. ^ The bridge over Churchill River is single lane.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Careen, Evan. "Funding announced for Trans-Labrador Highway | The Telegram".
  2. ^ "2020 Roads Plan" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  3. ^ "Five-Year Provincial Roads Plan#Projects Completed in 2018-19; Department of Transportation and Works" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Taste of cell service has south coast of Labrador dreaming of more". CBC News. November 7, 2020. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  5. ^ "Province sets aside money for look at Labrador north coast road | SaltWire".
  6. ^ "Road trip to ... Nain? Sky-high cost makes Labrador dream a tough sell | CBC News".
  7. ^ "The Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador invest in a pre-feasibility study for a road into northern Labrador". November 8, 2022.
  8. ^ "The Labrador Record - Infrastructure".
  9. ^ History of Labrador City Archived 2014-06-06 at the Wayback Machine,, Retrieved February 7, 2011
  10. ^ "Labrador mayors push for highway commitments". CBC News. December 14, 2005. Archived from the original on April 11, 2023.
  11. ^ "Bridges on the Trans Labrador Highway" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  12. ^ "Trans Labrador Highway Being Fast-Tracked".
  13. ^ "Ministerial Statement - Final Tenders Awarded for Phase I of Trans Labrador Highway".
  14. ^ "Trans-Labrador Highway woes detailed by AG". CBC News. January 27, 2012. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  15. ^ "Tenders Called for More Paving on Phase I of Trans Labrador Highway". Transportation and Works. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  16. ^ "Humber Valley Paving should've paid penalty, Lisa Dempster says". CBC News. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  17. ^ "Labrador paving project won't be on time or budget". CBC News. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on April 12, 2023.
  18. ^ "Smooth driving on Trans-Labrador Highway from HVGB to Lab West". CBC News. June 30, 2015. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  19. ^ "Paving of Trans-Labrador Highway will remain unfinished until 2015". CBC News. October 28, 2014. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  20. ^ "Ministerial Statement - Early tenders for projects funded under Labrador Transportation Initiative Fund".
  21. ^ "Access to Trans-Labrador Highway has been 'double-edged sword,' Cartwright mayor". CBC News. June 19, 2015. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  22. ^ "Government announces construction of Trans Labrador Highway".
  23. ^ "Ministerial Statement - Labrador Transportation Initiative Fund".
  24. ^ "Major contracts awarded for next phase of Red Bay to Cartwright Highway".
  25. ^ "The Economy - Construction".
  26. ^ "Red Bay to Cartwright Road Approval of Construction Order, NLR 39/99". Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  27. ^ "Ministerial Statement - Trans Labrador Highway Phase III Now Open � Connecting Labrador West, Through Lake Melville, to Southern Labrador".
  28. ^ "Trans-Labrador Highway now connected". CBC News. December 9, 2009. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  29. ^ "Google Maps".
  30. ^ "Provincial Government Preparing for Road Construction Season". April 17, 2020.
  31. ^ "Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador investing over $50 million in support of 26 public infrastructure projects across the province".
  32. ^ "Trans-Labrador Highway paving complete". July 5, 2022.
  33. ^ "Final stretch of roadwork clews up to complete 25-year Trans-Labrador Highway project | SaltWire".
  34. ^ "Labrador 2003 - Page 5".
  35. ^ "Canada's vanishing villages along the Lower North Shore".
  36. ^ "Often-isolated Labrador Straits region would welcome 3rd route from Quebec". CBC News. May 1, 2019. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023.
  37. ^ "Delegation heads to Ottawa to seek funds to extend Route 138 in eastern Quebec".
  38. ^ "Canada and Quebec Support Development of the Highway System in the Basse-Côte-Nord Region/East of Nitassinan". December 14, 2020.

External links[edit]

KML is from Wikidata