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Yaffle your next project

Yaffle, Memorial’s online connecting tool is full of big ideas looking for someone from Memorial to take them on. Here’s one of them.

The problem:

Teresita McCarthy, or Teddy, as she’s best known, believes that her home, Bell Island, has the potential to thrive. However, there’s a big roadblock that’s standing in the way. Literally.

“I have always felt that our community has been rapidly outgrowing the ferry system,” said Ms. McCarthy. “In order for us to prosper, and in some respects, even survive, we need a permanent way to get back and forth.”

“The idea of a fixed link has floated around for years” explained Ms. McCarthy, “but for the first time in a long time, people are really beginning to feel that it could become a reality. The technology exists, particularly in places like Norway. If it is possible there, then why not here?”

Visit the ferry terminal at the end of the work-day, and you’ll see a line of commuters waiting to return home at the end of the day. You’re also likely to see visitors. In fact, so many people make the trip each year, that the traffic to Bell Island rivals the ferry ridership of the crossing to Nova Scotia.

Ms. McCarthy understands why people are willing to make the, not always convenient, trip. “People stay on Bell Island because we have our own piece of heaven.” She believes that with easier access, tourists and developers would also fall in love with the island’s vivid sunsets and rolling hills. “Build it, and they will come: that’s what I say!” she said with a laugh. “We have a million dollar view. You can see the ocean from practically every part of Bell Island.”

“We have young families, we have people moving back, and we’re not going anywhere. We are a community that is dedicated to staying where we are,” she concluded.


The project:

Ms. McCarthy, and the Fixed Link Group, which she currently chairs, are looking for help from someone, or maybe several people, from Memorial.

They’ve already investigated similar projects in other jurisdictions, including other Canadian communities, and Norway, and have connected with Memorial’s Harris Centre to help them establish an objective and independent team to delve further into the issues.

According to the Yaffle opportunity they’ve submitted, they need help creating a feasibility study that would examine both the economic and technical aspects of a possible link, and the conditions that would be necessary to make it happen.

Are you a Memorial researcher who likes the idea of enjoying those Bell Island sunsets for yourself? Contact Bojan Fürst (bfurst@mun.ca) at the Harris Centre to get involved with this, or any other, Yaffle project.

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