Amendments to Public Highways Act


Amendments to Public Highways Act

Landowners who own property along a highway right-of-way or have land that has been designated for a future road will benefit from amendments to the Public Highways Act.

Changes introduced today, Oct.  3, will simplify the process for people who wish to purchase surplus land from the province. These parcels are typically unused roadways or parcels that border provincial land. The amendments will also provide clarity and transparency around the types of land improvements that are eligible for compensation should land be reserved for a future road or highway.

“The proposed amendments will improve the management of our road system in the province, provide clarity for landowners and help better manage the public expenditures on our highways,” said Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “The changes also bring Nova Scotia legislation in line with other Atlantic provinces.”

Amendments will allow land to be reserved for future highway purposes. The province can reserve land for five years for future highway use. The amendments will make it clear what types of property improvements made during the period of reservation are eligible for compensation by the province, if expropriated.

Quick Facts:
— the Public Highways Act has been in place since 1953
— on average the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal disposes of about 75 properties per year, many are road remnants transferred to adjoining landowners
— changes will allow the province to sell or dispose of road remnants and old historical highways no longer in use by allowing people to avoid fees associated with purchasing a property
— land has  been reserved twice in the past two years to support significant highway expansion projects
— other administrative amendments include updating job titles, public notifications for road closures and spring weight restrictions and a new regulatory authority for setting penalties and fees

Additional Resources:
Five-Year Highway Plan:

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